Insects, spiders and other invertebrates have colonised all environments and have specialist and diverse requirements for food, climate and other environmental factors. Many are attracted to our man made environments and managed agricultural crops. They look for food, a place to live, breeding sites and harbourage. Either directly or indirectly invertebrates of almost every order can be found within goods and foodstuffs; some commonly and others very infrequently.
Accurate identification is the root of determining whether these are friends, foe or indifferent, to determine if their presence is likely to be damaging or benign, whether they are present by design or though chance. This enables us to advise our customers whether there is a short term or longer term infestation that needs to be addressed or whether the presence is of no tangible concern.
Our identification service draws on more than 30 years of experience providing identifications of insects, spiders and other invertebrates for the food and environmental health sectors and also the shipping and storage of goods and commodities.
Our identifications are science based where microscopic examination, critical measurements, identification keys and comparative specimens are the methodology used to determine identity.
Identifications are always taken to the highest level of classification possible from the specimen, or body parts, presented to us. The species level determination is dependent on the condition of the specimen received, the identification characters available to us or the taxonomic complexity of the group. The highest level of determination possible will be provided i.e. identification to order, family or genus level.
Note: Ideally identifications are made from specimens provided to us, but in many cases rapid identification and advice can be provided from electronic images.
The service provides a concise report for each sample/specimen identified including:
- Distribution (as far as this can be determined)
- Photograph of specimen (where practicable)
- Conclusions in context to the circumstances
- Response to customers’ questions
- Recommendations or actions to be taken
Identification Service – Charges and turnaround:
£60.00 per hour and £30.00 per half hour thereafter (subject to a minimum charge of £30.00) including report (classification, biology, distribution and context).
Most identifications can be achieved within 1 – 1.5 hours, but we will always contact customers if this is not possible before proceeding with more time consuming and costly methodology.
We aim to provide our identification report within 5 working days and will provide regular updates where this is not possible. For the identification or verification of common species we are usually able to offer ‘same day’ or ‘next day’ identifications.