How to Identify Insect Larvae Nests


There are thousands of types of insects in just about any area of the world. Sometimes, an interesting or unknown larvae nest may be found that is not easily identifiable. The process of identifying insects is where you collect information on an insect or an insect nest to identify. It is useful to have a insect identification field guide to determine the type of larvae nest you have found.

Things You'll Need

  • Small container
  • Tongs
  • Ruler
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Field guide to insects
  • Locate the insect larvae nest and take a sample or photograph of the larva. Place an object, such as a ruler, next to the larva and record its size. If possible place the sample into a small container using tongs to make the identification process easier.

  • Make observations; write down specific information such as where the nest was found, the habitat and even the shape of the nest. Pay attention to details such as the color of the nest, and if any other adult insects are in the area. Also, take explicit notes on all the physical details you see and if any antennae are present.

  • Remove the larvae from the container and use a magnifying glass to carefully examine the color and texture of the larvae.Consult an insect identification field guide to identify the nest. For example, if you have a small insect that is in a cocoon-like structure, go to the caterpillar/butterfly section of the guide.

  • Search for photographs of the nest once you believe you have found a match. Consulting Internet encyclopedias or a university extension website from the agriculture or biology programs can be useful. Photographs will give you an idea of what the nest and larvae look like their natural habitat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes an exact species match is difficult to find even when using an identification guide. You may need to consult a professional.
  • Make sure the websites you visit are credible sources.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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