Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

Cornell University, Dept. of Entomology,
2144 Comstock Hall, Ithaca NY 14853-2601
Diagnostician: Jason J. Dombroskie, Ph.D.

Link to Cornell’s  Dept. of Entomology

Do you have an insect problem, and want to know what it is, or more about it?

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.
Click here for directions on how to send in samples or photos for identification.


Do you already know what you have, or want more information?  We have a number of factsheets available.  Please feel free to take a look for descriptions and control recommendations.
Click on this link:
 Insect Diagnostic Lab Factsheets List


Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), a new invasive fly species originally from Asia, has been causing widespread injury to some fruit crops in New York State. Raspberries, blackberries, late-maturing blueberries, day-neutral strawberries, elderberries, cherries, and peaches are among the vulnerable crops. A factsheet on the Spotted Wing Drosophila is available from Cornell Cooperative Extension at: 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 from NYS Integrated Pest Management on SWD, go to:

Have you ever wondered how insects are identified, and how it has changed over time?  In this 30 minute webinar our diagnostician Jason Dombroskie discusses Trends in Insect Diagnostics.

Are you curious about what kinds of things are commonly sent in for identification?  Follow this link for a list of the top IDs in the past few years for samples from indoors, and also a list of the kinds of garden, yard, and house plants people have sent samples from for us to identify the pests.  Once again, in 2013 the most common categories were No biting pest in sample, Bed bug [not present], and Carpet beetles.

Other Contacts:

For questions about West Nile virus or Lyme disease, contact the local office of your state health department. For questions about insects and related pests in and around the home, or in the garden, you can contact your local Cooperative Extension office.
In New York State, see:
 Local Cooperative Extension Offices

Photos in the IDL banner are © 2012 by Jason J. Dombroskie, Ph.D. (IDL Coordinator & Diagnostician).

From left to right: Alder flea beetle – adults (Chrysomelidae: Altica ambiens); Larder beetle – larva (Dermestidae: Dermestes lardarius); 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: Scoliopteryx libatrix).