Insect & Plant Testing

We are now accepting insect and plant samples 

at our office on Middletown

Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Appointments preferred.


Cost: $7.00 per sample

  • Collect ten or more insects if possible.
  • If insects are found on a plant, submit the plant material as it may be imperative to identifying the insect.
  • Live insects should be put in a sealed container. The interior of the container should be dry to help prevent the insect from decomposing.
  • If you want to kill an insect the best way to do it is by keeping it in the freezer overnight.
  • Fresh samples are best! To keep sample fresh, keep them in the freezer until you bring them in.
  • Do NOT place insects or ticks on sticky tape!


Upstate Medical provides free identification and testing.

Tick Submission - Community-Engaged Tick Surveillance


Cost: $7.00 per sample

Small Plants

  • The whole plant should be submitted.
  • Do NOT pull the plant, rather dig it up to preserve the roots.
  • Enclose the roots and the attached soil in a plastic bag firmly fastened around the lower stem of the plant. Be careful not to damage the lower stem of the plant when fastening the bag!
  • Put the whole plant in an unsealed plastic bag.

Leaves, Twigs, Branches, or Stems

  • Select samples from areas of the plant that are just starting to show symptoms.
    • Areas that are completely dead often contain secondary organisms that may hinder detection of the primary pathogen.
  • Wrap the sample loosely in an unsealed plastic bag. Put that bag into another bag and seal the outer bag.
  • Pack roots separate from branches, shoots, or foliage.
  • It is important that you try to collect the sample prior to any pesticide applications - once pesticides have been applied it may be difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis.


  • Submit a turf sample that is 12 inches by 12 inches square and 1 - 2 inches deep.
  • Take a sample from an area of the lawn that is showing symptoms but is not completely dead.
  • Half the sample should show the injury, and half the sample should look healthy.

For more information, contact the Garden Helpline at (845) 343-0664 or email

Commercial growers, please contact your commodity representative by calling (845) 344-1234.


Susan Ndiaye
Community Horticulture Educator
(845) 344-1234, Ext.250

Last updated April 26, 2023