Caterpillars, worms, grubs, etc.

Caterpillars are extremely difficult to identify if placed directly into alcohol without blanching as they lose all color.  For best preservation results, follow the steps below for blanching and shipping:

  1. Boil water (either in the microwave or on the stove) and remove from heat.
  2. Drop the specimen into the boiling water.
  3. When the specimen rises to the surface, scoop it out and place it into a leak-proof vial of alcohol (rubbing alcohol or isopropyl).
  4. Place the container into a small box and pad the container to keep the specimen from being damaged during transit.
  5. Include a completed General Form along with a check for the identification in a separate plastic bag.
  6. Ship the specimen to the address on the submission form.
  7. More detailed instructions can be found in HYG-2121-12, Submitting Insect Specimens for Identification.
  •  Please note that caterpillars can also be shipped alive in a crush proof container with a few leaves or wrapped in a damp paper towel.