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  • I don't see an online store. Why not?!?
    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 a conventional online store just doesn't suit. For new customers, it is often best to call us to discuss your needs with our staff. New and existing customers can also use our online Insect Shipment Request form. Once we have established the parameters of your needs, future orders can often be sent via simple email or any other convenient means. If you're thinking this method of contact may not be the easiest on your end, and is a bit outdated, we understand! That said, we know that old fashioned human contact is still the most effective means of getting you exactly WHAT YOU NEED, WHEN YOU NEED IT.
  • My child has a Science Fair to prep for. Do you sell insects to the general public?
    All of our insect species are pests that require specialized knowledge for successful rearing and use. We only ship our insects to companies, post-secondary academic institutions, and government agencies having personnel trained and equipped to handle them.
  • My study is very small! What are your minimums?
    Our minimum order for eggs is 1000 (pricing varies by species). For other stages, the minimum order is $65 (per life stage). These minimum requirements are based upon the individual care and consultation that we provide for every order, large or small. Please note that these per shipment minimums are also per species (eggs) and per life stage (other stages). We wish we could allow customers to combine species or stages to make up a minimum order, but then the minimum would have to increase dramatically. The current method works best for the majority of customers we serve.
  • I'm very proactive! Can I schedule multiple orders in advance?
    Absolutely! We have handled many complex schedules to meet critical research needs, including for field release. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly standing orders are routine. A well thought out request, provided in advance, is the best way to ensure that we'll have exactly what you need.
  • My AP department is kind of picky... What types of payment are accepted?
    We're happy to receive payment however you prefer! Currently we accept Master Card, Visa, and American Express as well as company/institutional checks or ACH deposits. Purchase Orders may be provided where required and we will reference those when providing invoices.
  • Surely you can't just send insects anywhere you like! What federal permits are required to set up an order?
    A USDA 526 permit is required for receiving certain plant pest species from Benzon Research, even if the pest is native to your state. USDA APHIS 526 Permit information and applications can be found HERE. Once approved, your permit is delivered to you as a PDF file that you can email to us and we will keep on file. We are required to reference your permit number on every shipment. PLEASE NOTE: The permit application and approval can take a long time! We recommend that you plan for several months, at the soonest. For more accurate information, or to discuss issues with a specific application, please contact APHIS PPQ via email (
  • But I can find this species in my backyard! What species do not require an APHIS PPQ permit?
    The following crop pest species currently DO NOT require an APHIS PPQ permit for interstate shipment: Black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon Soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (both strains) Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda Cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni The mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches we make available for purchase similarly DO NOT require an APHIS PPQ or other federal government permit for laboratory (us) to laboratory (you) transfer.
  • So I'm cleared by the feds. What permits do I need for my state?
    States may have their own regulations, and it is incumbent on the purchaser to consult with state authorities prior to placing an order. At this time, we are aware of the following state level requirements: California requires prior written permission from California Department of Public Health to import exotic mosquitoes. Please contact us for details.
  • My needs are urgent! Do you ship same day?
    We totally get that sometimes it's hard to plan ahead! Most orders for Lepidoptera or Aedes eggs received before 12:00 pm EST can be shipped same day. Larger orders, other species or advanced life stages will likely require some lead time. Approximate lead times are provided in the pricing sheet. Please use this as a guide as to what we can definitely do, but we can often exceed these timeframes. So, if you're in a rush, give us a call! We'll absolutely help if we can.
  • A shipping delay would completely wreck my research plan! Do you guarantee deliveries?
    As a laboratory that sometimes procures insects for testing, we completely understand the trouble a transit delay can cause with research schedules. That said, when a package leaves our facility on-time and in good quality, we cannot be held liable for delays or other issues during transit. Similarly, FedEx will not insure packages (against delay or damage) that contain live animals. We do our best to anticipate weather delays and other issues that might affect the express shipping network. Where possible, we may recommend customers shift an order to avoid transits that are likely to be problematic. Unfortunately, our ability to predict Mother Nature is about as good as Punxatawny Phil's! If your package ends up stuck in transit, we will do our best to be communicative and supportive. In some cases that might mean simply waiting for proper delivery, as our boxes are insulated sufficiently for 24-72 hour transits. We appreciate your understanding that this is one of the risks of live insect shipments, and will put in a good faith effort to avoid problems to the extent that we can. If you ever suspect that a local (or national) weather event might unacceptably delay your insect shipment, please contact us to discuss options for delay or other pre-shipment amendments.
  • Insect shipments must be super delicate. How are things protected in transit?
    We work hard to ensure your insects will arrive safe and ready for use! Shipments are prepared in environmentally friendly packaging for overnight delivery via FedEx Priority Overnight. Gel packs may be used warm or cold depending on the season to ensure viable delivery. We totally get that the cost of shipping has become outrageously expensive! Unfortunately our hands are a bit tied in this department. We negotiate with FedEx regularly to ensure the best rates possible, and our shipping charges are less than 50% of the rate you'd receive just walking into FedEx as an individual. Other methods may be cheaper, but we're not about providing "just okay" insects in a "sorta fast" manner. Priority Overnight shipments arrive on-time and healthy over 95% of the time, which is (alas) about as good as it gets at the moment.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle! I'm into that second "R", reuse. Should we send back the empty boxes our insects come in?
    Reuse is an amazing way to save resources if you can. Who doesn't love a good vintage store?!? Unfortunately in this case, the expense and emissions of returning empty boxes to Benzon Research for reuse is just not cost efficient or environmentally responsible. We highly recommend re-use or recycling locally, if you can.
  • Styrofoam sucks! What are your shipping boxes made of?
    Smarter folks than us rightly say that Styrofoam is one of the most harmful types of waste filling up our landfills today, and unless you're a Superworm, it's not fun to eat! Let's help Mother Nature win the day when we can by using safer materials where it otherwise makes no difference. Our boxes contain: 100% curbside recyclable paper-based inner liners Eco-friendly inner packing and cushioning materials Moisture safe cold packs filled with non-toxic gel refrigerant (reusable, but not recyclable) 100% curbside recyclable cardboard exteriors We're definitely not holier than thou, and unfortunately do still use foam cups and many other plastics within our process, but hey, we're trying! Stay tuned for more advances in these areas as we are able to successfully make them.
  • My bugs are hungry!!! Do you sell insect diets?
    As a convenience to our customers, we can sell small quantities of prepared artificial diets in blocks ($25/liter), 8oz cups ($4), or multi-cell trays (contact us for current pricing). For those do-it-yourselfers out there, diet pre-mix is available in quantities up to 10 liters ($12.50/liter) for preparation and use at your location. For diet mixes in larger quantities, we recommend you go direct to the source, Southland Products Inc. (870-265-3747). Nothing like some good ol' fashioned southern hospitality with your insect food!
  • The night time is the right time! Over what period of time are the eggs that I purchase laid?
    Any group (such as a sheet) of lepidoptera eggs that you receive was oviposited over a single night lasting 8 hours. This will ensure 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. We never send eggs that we don't expect to work, or that we wouldn't use ourselves.
  • Did I say I was ready? I'm not quite ready! Can I store eggs to delay their development before use?
    Generally, yes! This varies widely between species, but nearly all of our lepidoptera eggs should maintain high viability for at least 3 days at 6-10ºC. Some species will last longer. Species with shorter viability are noted on the Species Detail page.
  • Okay, cool, I can use my eggs a bit later. What about other life stages?
    Sure! If you just aren't ready to go, larvae can be stored at room temperature or below (6-10ºC) for a few days or longer. Keep a close eye on them, and make sure they're still looking healthy each day they're not in use. When you pull them out, make sure you give them time to get back to ambient before using them in any trial where activity is important!
  • Insects are dirty! Can I receive my eggs surface sterilized?
    Absolutely! We can surface sterilize eggs of most species for you. Please contact us with specific questions or requirements.
  • Clean is good! What about preparing eggs "loose" or some other special way?
    This is why you've chosen to work with Benzon Research! We are here to get you (wait for it....) WHAT YOU NEED, WHEN YOU NEED IT. It's literally our tagline. 😁 Loose eggs, sterilized eggs, distributed into individual cell eggs, we provide the eggs in whatever way you require. Just give us a call or send an email to discuss your specific needs! Please also remember that "custom" preparation requests may take a bit more time and include a bit more cost.
  • I like my parties, and my insects, WILD. 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 long term 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 this despite rearing through hundreds of generations. That said, we do have experience rearing proprietary strains of "wild" insects for customers who require insects with specific traits or resistance profiles. If you're thinking about collecting a field strain for laboratory use, feel free to contact us for details on how we might help!
  • I heard laboratory-reared insects are kinda wimpy. How do your insects perform in the field?
    Well that's a loaded question! Field performance depends upon many factors completely unrelated to the insects, such as host plants, environmental conditions, and predation. In terms of straight up performance (will they eat your plants?), we have yet to hear of a failure caused by lack of vigor. At the end of every field season we receive more than a few phone calls and photos from cooperators surprised by just how much pressure our insects can provide. If you're still unsure, please 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.
  • Sometimes less is more, but usually more is more! Why does this order look like less (eggs/larvae/etc) than my last order for the same amount?
    We get it - uniformity is great! Unfortunately live insects don't always play along with that. Every order that we ship contains the highest quality insects available, and you'll always receive the quantity that you pay for. We do often (nearly always) significantly overship, to account for any lessening of viability due to transit or other factors. This is not an exact science, and the amount of excess will certainly vary from day to day, species to species & order to order. If you set up a multi-week shipment, you may receive one group that looks like less than the previous. This doesn't mean you're being short-changed - it simply means that your prior order contained significantly more (free) excess than the current. We apologize for the lack of uniformity, but this is just one of the happy accidents of biological systems!
  • I'm purchasing mosquitoes that can carry diseases! How do I know yours are pathogen-free?
    At no time during their known histories were mosquitoes maintained for sale by Benzon Research exposed to arthropod-borne human pathogens, nor were such pathogens ever stored or handled in this laboratory in any form. Due to this lack of exposure, we do not test the colony for the presence of any specific pathogen. Further details regarding our pathogen-free status, as well as brief colony histories for each species currently available are given in the document below.


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