INSECTS: Ever found a creepy-crawly in your yard and wondered what it was?

For many readers, you’ve lived in the area most of your life and spent a many hours outside in the natural environment.

Penn State can help.

“Identification services are provided free-of-charge to Pennsylvania residents,” a recent press release from the agency stated. “Specimens can be taken to county Penn State Extension offices, where extension personnel often can identify an insect on the spot. If the specimen is difficult to identify, local extension educators will forward the sample to the Insect Identification Laboratory.”

The lab is part of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

In fact, notifying the university of a new insect coming into the area can be helpful for them, as they may need to work to prevent the spread of harmful insects, though many insects are useful.

“For the layperson, knowing which insects are good and which are not can be perplexing,” according to the university, which said experts such as Michael Skvarla, director of the Insect Identification Lab, can help.

“My goal is to help people make informed decisions — you don’t have to spray everything with a pesticide,” said Skvarla.

Find your county extension office at

Also, samples can be mailed to Skvarla at: Insect Identification Laboratory, 501 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, University Park, PA 16802. Skvarla suggests that a specimen can be prepared by putting it in a small vial filled with rubbing alcohol, then putting the vial in a plastic sandwich bag. Include an address, phone number and information about the insect such as where it was discovered.

PARADE:Don’t forget, the annual Cruisin’ Into Christmas parade will take to Main Street at 6 p.m. today.

A total of 32 units following the theme of “Songs of Christmas” will be out to put residents in the Christmas spirit, with Santa Claus at the tail of the parade riding on a Bradford City fire truck.