Looking for information on particular insects and/or insect-related topics
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Help with identifying and controlling pests in your home
Dealing with pests in your home
The first step in helping you solve your pest problem in your home is to first get an accurate identification of the insect involved. Intact and well-preserved specimens will provide us the best chance for accurate identification. Also, we ask that you kill any insects prior to mailing them to us. For larger insects, you can place them in a sealed container (ie. a used pill bottle), and stick them in a freezer overnight to kill them. For smaller and soft bodied insects, you can also stick them in rubbing alcohol or white vinegar in a sealed container. Do not place insects in water, as this will not preserve specimens.
In addition to insects samples, we also encourage sending us photos of specimens in advance. We can often times get enough detail from an image (even from a cell phone camera) to make an identification. When sending photos, please use a ruler or reference item, so we can determine the size of the organism.
What you can do:
Looking for bee and wasp removal information
Bee Swarm Removal
The LSU AgCenter maintains a list of experienced professionals in the area that specialize in bee and/or wasp removal. Unfortunately, the LSU Department of Entomology does not do swarm capture at this time.
Insect-related events and activities in Louisiana
Fun and educational insect activities in Louisiana
While Louisiana in itself has a lot of fascinating insect diversity and habitats, there are also local places in the area you can learn more about insects. Here are a few recommendations:
Zika virus information
The LSU department of entomology will continue to provide timely updates on Zika virus in the United States. Click the links below for more information on Zika virus, and mosquito-borne viruses in Louisiana
Dr. Christina Mogren, Postdoctoral Researcher within the LSU Department of Entomology, recently developed the Urban Pollinator Conservation Series of fact sheets and information on ways to protect pollinators in urban areas. She is also assisting researchers at the Burden Research Station in establishing a pollinator garden for the public.
Looking for information on specific insects
The LSU Department of Entomology conducts research on various insect pests, including those that are pests of plants, animals, and humans. If you are looking for information on a specific type of insect, you have multiple options.
Insect Photos (Bug Shots)
Insect Photos (Bug Shots)
Claudia Husseneder, LSU Department of Entomology, is an amateur photographer, and entomologist. In the Bug Shots pages, she has put together fun and informative fact sheets on common insects in Louisiana. Click here for more information.
Looking for school (K-12) activities and lessons
The LSU department of entomology has numerous resources to assist K-12 schools with lesson plans, guest lectures, and other materials. Our graduate students (as well as faculty and staff) frequently visit elementary and middle schools throughout the year to provide presentations on insects. This includes our traveling insect zoo, live honey bee displays, live cockroaches, mosquitoes, scope on a rope, insects as sources of food, and other material. Our annual AgMagic display features around the concept of touching, smelling, hearing, tasting, and seeing insects up close. We also frequently have schools and small groups visit our insect museum to see various displays of preserved insects up close.
Things you can do:
Looking for information on beneficial insects
While we often emphasize the importance of insects as pests and transmission of disease causing pathogens, numerous insects are also considered beneficial. Beneficial insects are those that benefit the environment by providing a service (through pollination services or pest control). These beneficial insects are often used to help control weeds and insects that are considered pests.
insect specific information
Ants are a common pest in both urban and agricultural areas. Many of the biggest concerns regarding ants in Louisiana are the fire ant, the tawny crazy ant, and pest ants in homes. Click on the links below for more information on various ants.
The thought of bed bugs can easily cause much stress and concern. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding in cracks and crevices, and coming out at night for a blood meal when people are sleeping. For more information on these pests, click the links below.
Bees are important insects that benefit the environment through pollination. While most bees are beneficial to the environment, some can be considered pests. Click the links below to learn more. (Note that specific information on honey bees is included in its own separate tab below).
There are many important insects that are beneficial in the environment. In particular, many of these insects are commonly used as biological control agents, since they target very specific pests. Click the links below to find out more.
Crickets and Grasshoppers
Dragonflies and damselflies
Dragonflies and damselflies are beautiful and graceful insects that are incredibly agile fliers. Many of these colorful species are beneficial, because they eat pest insects as both nymphs and adults. Click the links below for more information.
Forensic entomology is the use of insects to help solve crimes. Several important insect groups include maggots, adult flies, and beetles. LSU Entomology offers courses in Forensic Entomology. To learn more about the use of insects to solve crimes, click the links below.
Giant salvinia weevil
Giant salvinia is an invasive plant to local ponds. The plant develop so rapidly, it quickly spreads across an entire aquatic area. Researchers in the LSU department of entomology, are studying the Giant Salvinia weevil as a means of helping to control the spread of this invasive plant species. Click the links below for more information
Honey bees are important pollinators to plants, and produce honey and wax. Honeybees are such important pollinators that 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat rely on bees for pollination. Click the links below for more information on keeping bees.
Horse flies and deer flies
Horse fly and deer fly adults obtain blood by cutting into the skin and licking up the pooling blood. This unique feeding behavior, along with high numbers around animals, they can become quite a large pest. For more information, click the links below.
Kissing bugs get their name from the behavior to bite close to the mouth while people are sleeping. The biggest concern with kissing bugs is their potential to transmit Chagas disease. While we have the vector insects, Chagas disease is much more common in central and south America, due to the behavior of these insects, along with improved housing and infrastructure. You can learn more by clicking the links below.
Thanks to proper hygiene, body lice (and epidemic typhus) are far much less of a concern than they were 100 years ago. However, head lice are still important today, and can cause pain and grief in those dealing with controlling them. Click the links below for more information.
Livestock Pest Management
Livestock are an important commodity in Louisiana, and also require their own methods of pest management. Click the links below to learn more about IPM for livestock animals.
Love bugs get their name from their common behavior of prolonged mating flights. These mating love bugs can commonly be collected throughout the warm seasonal months. For more information, click the links below.
Mites can be challenging to identify, due to their small size. The two most important pest mites to humans includes the scabies mite, and the chigger. Identification of mites is best accomplished through a specialized dermatologist. For more information on mites, please click the links below.
Mosquitoes are important nuisance pests and vectors of disease-causing pathogens in Louisiana. In Louisiana, we have over 60 recognized species of mosquitoes, each with different host preferences, larval habitats, and importance. Our greatest concerns annually include the risk for West Nile virus, along with threats from large levels of nuisance mosquitoes. Click the links below for more information.
Pest Management Guides
In addition to the annual Louisiana Pest Management Guide, the LSU Department of Entomology and AgCenter produce numerous IPM and Best Management Practice guidelines. Click the links below for more information.
Pollinators include more than just bees and wasps. Many other groups of insects can serve as important pollinators, including flies, butterflies, and beetles. For more information on pollinators and pollinator protection and conservation, click the links below.
Rice is an important crop in Louisiana and requires important pest management strategies for controlling insect pests. Click through the links below for more information.
Robber flies are an interesting group of flies that are predators of other insects. They are strong and agile flyers, that are capable of capturing insects in flight. They can be quite beneficial by killing and eating several biting flies and insects. Click the links below for more information.
There are numerous insect pests that affect soybeans. Click through the links below to find out more about insect pests on soybeans and ways to control them.
While many people are afraid of spiders, very few can cause any serious harm. Most spiders can be beneficial and kill off other pests in your home. The two spiders to be concerned about include the brown recluse spider, and the black widow spider. Click the links below for more information.
Termites are an important group of insects, as they can cause destruction to homes, structures, and personal property. Click through the links below to find out more about different kinds of termites, their biology, and ways to control them.
While ticks are not insects, many entomologists study ticks due to their importance in medical and veterinary entomology. Ticks are important throughout the United States, and can transmit disease-causing pathogens, such as those that cause Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fortunately, these pathogens are much less common in Louisiana compared to other parts of the United States. Click the links below for more information.
Wasps are similar to bees, except they lack the furry hairs. However, just like bees, wasps can be beneficial to the environment, such as through pollination, or as predators or parasitoids to other pest insects. However, many wasps can also be pests, so it is important to know the difference. Click the links below for more information.