National Pesticide Information Center



Identify Your Pest

Why is identification important?

Whether your pest is a weed, insect, animal, microbe, or other organism, correct identification of your pest makes controlling it easier and often more effective. A mistake in identification can lead to improper control tactics that cost time and money. It may also lead to unnecessary risks to people or the environment.

Who can identify pests for me?

Many experts are not able to identify pests by phone or email. He or she may want to see a photograph or sample of the pest; they may even need to examine the area where the pest was found. Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying to identify a pest:

  • Your local Cooperative Extension Service may be able to help you identify the pest.
  • A pest management professional may also be able to help you identify pests.
  • While some of these pest identification services may be free, be aware that there may be a fee associated with some pest identification services.
  • There are many online resources linked below that have pest identification tools and fact sheets with information on specific pests in your area.



Fact Sheets on Pests in Your Area

Cooperative Extension

Pest Identification Guides and Tools

Pest Management Professionals

Once you have identified your pest, these resources should be helpful:

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Last updated June 22, 2015