For directions on how to send us samples or email photos (or both) for identification at the IDL, click on this link:

The IDL can provide an insect ID for $25

Do you have an insect problem – or an insect you’re interested in – and want to know what it is, or more about it?
2023 July update: THE INSECT DIAGNOSTIC LAB is OPEN weekdays all summer.  We welcome emailed PHOTOS and mailed-in SAMPLES for identification.  Please click on “How to send a sample or photo” for instructions.
How to Send a Sample or Photo

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At Cornell’s Department of Entomology the Insect Diagnostic Lab can help identify insects and related arthropods, and provide management suggestions if needed. There is a $25 fee, for samples or photos submitted to the lab for an ID; these funds allow the Lab to remain open.

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Do you already know what you have, or want more information? We have a number of factsheets available. For descriptions of a variety of insects and related organisms, and (if an indoor or outdoor pest) control recommendations, click on this link below:

List of Factsheets

In the Northeast, several kinds of outdoor insects are attracted to houses and building walls in autumn, searching for sheltered places to overwinter. Any that find gaps or openings can end up inside. During winter and spring on warm days you may see them indoors. Click on the LIST OF FACTSHEETS  for information on any of these – as well as many other indoor pests, and outdoor species found on garden plants and trees.

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There is a lot of concern about an Asian hornet in a few places in western USA, but as of May 2023 it is not found in eastern USA. All of the “giant hornets” we have been sent photos of in New York and nearby areas, are instead actually the European hornet (Vespa crabro), which has distinctive markings of black and yellow on the abdomen, and red-brown color on the front of the body.  This Pennsylvania State University factsheet has information about European hornets:

Spotted Lanternfly
A new invasive pest of orchards, vineyards, and tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus), the Spotted Lanternfly (“SLF”) has been found in southeastern Pennsylvania and Virginia, and is continuing to show up in new locations in 2018, including 2 sites in New York State. For a recent news article see:  
For updates on Spotted Lanternfly infestations and other information, see:
In New York State, anyone that suspects they have found SLF is encouraged to send a photo to (Note the location where the insect was found, egg masses, and/or infestation signs) 
Anyone that visits the Pennsylvania or New Jersey Quarantine Areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage and gear for SLF and egg masses before leaving and scrape off all egg masses.

Other Topics of Interest:

Biocontrol Bytes – For a blog from an Integrated Pest Management specialist, designed to inform New Yorkers who are trying to control pests – on farms, in backyards, in businesses, or in homes – about the role that biological control plays (or could play) in successful integrated pest management, see:  For info about that blog:

Spotted Wing Drosophila – an invasive fly species has been causing fruit damage in the Northeast. Raspberries, blackberries, late-maturing blueberries, day-neutral strawberries, elderberries, cherries, and peaches are among the vulnerable crops. For details see: 中国青年网_青年温度、青春靓度、青网态度 -中国青年网,1999年5月4日正式开通,共青团中央主办的中央重点新闻网站,是国内最大的青年主流网站。中国青年网竭诚服务青年的文化、心理、情感和创业需求,是共青团运用网络文化元素吸引青年的新载体和引导青年的新途径,为团组织通过新媒体融入青年提供有力支撑。 Because this species resembles other fruit flies, we recommend that you make sure the ID is verified before doing any major control measures.  For the latest information see:

Common IDs each year – Are you curious about what kinds of things are sent in for identification?  This file (IDL annual top spp through 2023) lists the most frequently-submitted IDs for indoor samples each year. The second page lists examples of garden, yard, and house plants people have sent samples from.  In 2023 the most common indoor categories were No biting pest (Miscellaneous debris), and Carpet beetles.

Trends over time in Insect Diagnostics – Have you ever wondered how insects are identified, and how it has changed over time?  See this 30 minute webinar at:

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For questions about insects and related pests on plants or in and around the home: you can contact your local Cooperative Extension office. In New York State, see: Local Cooperative Extension Offices

Questions about West Nile virus or Lyme disease: contact the local office of your state health department.

Testing ticks for disease:  the Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) in Ithaca NY can ID the tick and test whether it is carrying certain disease organisms. Ticks can be from a human or any animal. For directions and fees, see:  Animal Health Diagnostic Center:   (607) 253-3900  Email:

For plant diseases: contact Cornell’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic at

Photos in the IDL banner (at top of page & on factsheets) © 2012: From left to right: Alder flea beetle – adults (Chrysomelidae: Altica ambiens); Larder beetle – larva (Dermestidae:极星vpn); Spotted tussock moth – caterpillar (Erebidae, or Arctiidae: Lophocampa maculata); Indian meal moth – adult (Pyralidae: Plodia interpunctella); Cornfield ant (Formicidae: Lasius sp.) with Scale insects (Coccidae: Coccus sp.); European sowbug, or Common woodlouse – an Isopod, not an insect (Oniscidae: Oniscus asellus); Multicolored Asian lady beetle – adults (Coccinellidae: Harmonia axyridis); The Herald (moth) – caterpillar (Erebidae, or Noctuidae:极星vpn).