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Identifying insect larvae

Updated February 21, 2017

Insect larvae are insects that are in the immature stage of their lives. Insect larvae are, therefore, baby insects. Having the ability to identify insect larvae is a helpful way to avoid pest problems in the future because you'll be able to foresee a possible pest problem if you find a nest full of larvae. Unfortunately, most insect larvae are invisible to the naked eye, and each insect has a distinct larvae form.

Determine whether or not the larvae look like miniature versions of adult insects. Grasshopper, cricket and cockroach larvae look a lot like their adult versions except in miniature form. These miniature versions are called nymphs.

Check the larvae for resemblance to worms or caterpillars. Caterpillars and caterpillarlike worms are the larvae stages of insects such as butterflies and moths.

Examine the larvae for similarity to grubs. Grubs are generally shorter, fatter and slimier versions of worms. Grubs, or maggots, are the larvae stages of insects such as beetles, bees, houseflies and wasps.

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