Entomology Laboratory


The County Entomologist identifies insects for County AWM programs such as the glassy-winged sharp shooter program and the nursery inspection program, as well as for private companies and residents.

Guidelines for Submitting an Insect to the Lab

Bees and Apiary
Removal of Bees
Africanized Honey Bees

Current Hot Topics

Asian Citrus Psyllid and HLB (english)

Asian Citrus Psyllid and HLB (spanish)

Bamboo mealybug has been found in San Diego County. Click on the link to view the informational flyer.

Other Insect Information


Residents are encouraged to submit unfamiliar insects to the lab for identification. These insects are important to our program of protecting US and California agriculture because resident submissions often allow us to become aware of exotic pests and how widespread they are in San Diego County.

Please bring fresh, intact insects to the lab for determination (further details below).  When you submit insects you must complete a “Specimen for Determination” form that requires a complete mailing address and a description of where the insect was collected. You may either print a form from this website and mail it with the insect, or drop off the specimen and fill out the form at the AWM office.  Your insect determination is usually returned by mail within 2 weeks of submission with information on the insect.

Please ensure that you have COMPLETELY and LEGIBLY filled out the address portion of the form because this is used by the US Postal Service to deliver your results.

Specimen determination form

You may mail or drop off the specimen at the North County Office or the Kearny Mesa Agriculture, Weights & Measures Offices, addresses and telephone numbers below.

            North County Office:             Agriculture, Weights & Measures

                                                            County of San Diego

                                                            151 East Carmel Street

                                                            San Marcos, CA 92078


            Kearny Mesa Office:              Agriculture, Weights & Measures

                                                            County of San Diego

                                                            9325 Hazard Way, Suite 100

                                                            San Diego, CA 92123-1256



From the Garden: If the insects are living on the leaf tissue of a tomato plant, snip a branch off of the tomato plant and immediately drop the specimen into a plastic zipper bag with air.  If they are hopping insects such as a psyllid, it is best to carefully place the plastic bag over the end of the branch first, close the bag and then cut the branch to prevent the insects from flying away once disturbed.

From the Home: The insects should be delivered in a plastic zipper bag, jar, pill bottle or small plastic container.  The insect may be preserved in alcohol if possible. If not, a small container will do. Avoid submitting samples on tape, or which have been squished, but insect sticky traps may be submitted.  Our entomologist only deals with pests of agricultural concern; therefore you should contact County Vector Control 858-694-2888 for expertise on pet or human health insects (e.g. biting or blood-feeding insects). The entomologist does not deal with insects of medical concern.

The Entomology Laboratory welcomes all submissions associated with the commercial production of an agricultural commodity.  The Lab will also assist the pest control industry as staffing permits, as well as citizens with residential concerns.