Pest identification

Advice on how to get a pest sample

It can sometimes be difficult to correctly identify an insect pest which is why we sometimes ask our customers to get a sample ready to show our Pest Control Officer when they arrive for an appointment.

If you have booked an appointment and need to get an insect pest sample ready, please follow this advice.   

Choosing a container

The container you use must be empty, clean and dry and have an air tight lid.  Do not use a match box as this is not air tight.  Examples of suitable containers include: 

  • pill jar;
  • plastic tub;
  • plastic bottle;
  • glass bottle;
  • glass jar.

How to get a sample

We suggest you try to get at least three samples.

  • If the pest is a very small insect (eg a flea) an easy way to pick up a sample is to dab the pest with a cotton wool bud.
  • If the pest is a larger insect pest, spray it with a fly spray then either gently brush it into your container or pick it up with tweezers and drop it in.

Please don't:  

  • use sticky tape to collect a sample insect pest as it will get damaged when you remove it from the tape; or
  • hit insects with a rolled-up newspaper or magazine as this will squash the insect and make it really difficult to identify.