The Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) receives images of insects and arthropods for identification, and images of plants that accompany physical sample submissions. We have opened a new text line to send images directly from your smartphone or mobile device.
To send images via text message to the PIDC, type "(515)-599-1095" into the “to” field in your messaging app. Messaging and data rates may apply.
For sending insect and arthropod images for identification, please include your name, location (state and county), host plant or where it was found (e.g., on a maple tree, indoors, etc.) and a couple of images of your insect or arthropod that you would like identified. Also include any specific questions or concerns you have about the specimen. The PIDC cannot always guarantee identifications from images, so physical submission of samples may be necessary and recommended in some cases. For information on the submission of physical insect and arthropod samples, or for tips on how to capture better insect images for identification, see our submission webpage. Images for identification are free, and basic identifications for physical samples submitted to the clinic are $10.00.
Currently, images of plants can only be sent if they accompany a physical submission of a plant sample for plant problem diagnosis; the PIDC recommends sending photos of all plant samples that are mailed to us to aid in diagnosing your plant pest issue. Photos should include at least one image of how the plant is situated in the landscape (including the base of the plant if possible), and closer images of the symptoms and issues seen on the plant. Please include your name and email address (if available) so we can link your images to your submitted sample.
Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 9, 2023. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.