Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have online ordering?
Our insects are available in an almost infinite combination of species, stage, size, container, delivery date, and other specifications. It is important to us that you get exactly what you need for your work, so it is best to call and discuss your needs with our staff. Once we have this established, future orders can be made by email or any other convenient means.
Why won't you ship insects out of the USA?
The US Fish and Wildlife Service actually considers our lab-reared pest insects to be wildlife! This requires a general export permit, an expensive separate permit for each shipment, and a stop for inspection at an export station before leaving the USA. With this delay, along with frequent delays getting through customs in the destination country, insects are not very likely to arrive alive.
Can I schedule multiple shipments in advance?
Absolutely! We have dealt with many a complex schedule to meet critical research needs, including for field release. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly standing orders are routine.
Over what period of time are eggs laid?
Any group (such as a sheet) of lepidoptera eggs that you receive was oviposited over a single night lasting 8 hours. This will insure a fairly synchronous hatch. Almost all orders shipped on a given day are eggs that were laid the previous night. Occasionally with very large or unexpected orders we may use eggs that have been refrigerated for a day or two.
Can I store eggs?
That varies widely between species. All of our lepidoptera eggs should maintain high viability for at least 3 days at 6-10ºC before any significant decline. Some species will last longer. Species with shorter viability are noted on the Species Detail page.
Are your eggs surface sterilized?
We can surface sterilize eggs of most species for you. However, the process makes eggs more vulnerable to desiccation and possibly lowered viability during shipping. Therefore, it may be advantageous to do it on-site if you have the facilities.
Do you ever infuse wild stock into your colonies?
Not for any of our established species. Many of our customers have been using our strains for years for their screening and bioassay work, and they depend on stable characteristics. Though it is generally thought that laboratory colonies are susceptible to certain detrimental genetic phenomena or general loss of fitness, especially in lepidoptera, we have not experienced them despite rearing through hundreds of generations.
How do your insects perform in the field?
Of course that depends upon many factors such as host plants, environmental conditions, etc. However, we have yet to hear of a failure caused by lack of vigor. Give us a call to discuss your plans. Using lab-reared insects for artificial infestation has some serious advantages over hoping for a uniform natural infestation.