To effectively control a pest, it is important to accurately identify it. Pests can look different as they go through their life cycles. For example an immature beetle may look like a caterpillar or worm. Because of this, pests can easily be mistaken for non-pests, and vice versa. You may find out that your "pest" is actually a beneficial organism, harmless, or only a temporary problem.
There are many identification guides online; however, information posted on the web is not always reliable. You may consider looking for information from universities or government agencies. Field guides and other printed references may be available at your library or Cooperative Extension Office.
A scientist who specializes in plants, plant diseases, insects, microbes, or other organisms may be needed to identify a pest. You may be able to contact an expert through your Cooperative Extension Office. There may be a fee for identification services.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.