How to Prepare an Insect Sample for Bed Bug Identification

If you are unsure if your pest is a bed bug you can take a sample to Toronto Public Health where staff can assist you with identification.

  1. Does the insect in question resemble any of the stages within the lifecycle of bed bugs?
  2. Are you seeing blood spots on your bedding?
  3. Are you experiencing bites at night?

Call 416-338-7600 to book an appointment. If we are unable to identify the pest, you may wish to contact an entomologist or diagnostic lab to assist you.

Preparing Your Insect Sample:

Please do not bring in live insects.

  1. Collect the insect in question (adults are the easiest to identify).
  2. Do not squish the insect as this makes identification more difficult if not impossible.
  3. Do not tape the insect as it is easier to handle the insect if it is not taped.
  4. Put insect(s) in a clear watertight container (e.g. baby food jar) with 70% rubbing alcohol to kill and preserve the insect.

Where to Take Your Sample:

North Region

  • North York Civic Centre
    5100 Yonge St., 2nd Floor

South Region

  • 44 Victoria St., 18th Floor
  • 175 Memorial Park Avenue

East Region

  • 1530 Markham Rd., 5th Floor

West Region

  • Etobicoke Civic Centre
    399 The West Mall, 4th Floor North