Can I call the entomologist and ask for information/advice on any bug problem?
Yes, and further information and advice may be mailed or emailed to you as well.
What kinds of bugs can the entomologist identify?
Any insects, spiders, ticks, or mites of medical importance. The health department does not provide identification services for agricultural, urban, or garden pests. Those specimens should be sent to the Cooperative Extension Service.
How do I get a bug identified?
Specimens can be brought in to the State Health Department (Woodrow Wilson location), or mailed to us.
How should bugs be packaged?
Preferably, specimens should be placed in small vials or jars in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Do not send live specimens through the mail.
How long does it take?
Generally a few days, however, difficult specimens may require shipment to a university or the USDA (Washington, DC) for identification by an expert.
Can the entomologist come inspect my home for pests, or take a look at my pest problems?
Generally no. The MDH mission is public health and does not include visiting private residences for inspection. However, the entomologist will gladly identify any health-related pests that you bring or mail in.
Who can come look at my pest problem?
First, call the Division of On-site Wastewater and or email them at email@example.com with a return phone number where someone may contact you. After listening to the details of your particular situation, our staff can tell you over the phone whether or not there is anything the health department can do. If not, perhaps a pest exterminator or county extension agent can help.
Can the health department test a tick I found for Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
No. The MDH does not routinely test tick specimens for disease agents. In the past - for research purposes - the MDH has tested field-collected ticks for disease agents to assess the threat to public health, but currently we do not have the personnel or funding to provide tick testing to the public.
Phone the Entomology Division at (601) 576-7690