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Forensic Entomology Services

Forensic Entomology (Insect Forensics) is the use of insects in criminal investigations, particularly when they inhabit the decomposing remains of humans or animals. Our experts may use medico-legal, urban, and stored product study in order to provide evidence in criminal and civil proceedings.

Medico-legal analysis usually focuses on the criminal component and deals with carrion feeding insects that typically infest human remains. The urban aspect deals with insects that affect man and his immediate environment, influencing both criminal and civil components - as urban pests may feed on both those living and the deceased. Damage caused by insects as they feed can produce markings and puncture wounds on the skin that may be misinterpreted as prior abuse, for example. Urban pests are of great economic importance and our forensic entomologists may become involved in civil proceedings over monetary damages. Stored product insects are commonly found in foodstuffs and the forensic entomologist may serve as an expert witness during both criminal and civil proceedings involving food contamination.

Forensic Resources uses forensic entomology services to investigate the following information:

  • Estimation of the time of death using insect activity on bodies as a timeline. This can prove to be vital information for cases involving murder, suicide, accident, or suspected neglect of persons in care.
  • An understanding of insect feeding patterns on bodies can sometimes identify reasons for death or types of assault for example ant feeding patterns on skin may resemble acid burns.
  • Identifying whether bodies have been moved after death is a key aspect of crime scene investigation. A large proportion of insects have very restricted geographic ranges, and because of this it can act as key indicators on whether the body has been moved around or away from a crime scene.
  • Post death reconstruction of events through examining insect infestation patterns on bodies. For example expert witness opinions can be provided on whether a body was buried soon after death, located indoors since death, or exposed to the elements.
  • Identification of venomous invertebrates implicated in human deaths eg snake bites.
  • Identification of pest insects infesting (or contaminating) food and stored products for example cockroaches and flies.
  • Insect Forensic Analysis

In addition to our Forensic Entomology service please also see our Crime Scene Investigation Service and Blood Stain Pattern Analysis Services.

If you require further information on the analysis of insects through our Forensic Entomology Services please contact one of our experienced Forensic Scientists or email us through the enquiry form below.

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