Forensic EntomologyIntroductionDefinitionForensic entomology is the use and study of the insects and other arthropods that live in the corpse or remains that are decomposing to assist in the legal and crime investigations. Forensic entomology can also be defined as the science of using evidence from insects to help solving the crimes. It can as well be described as the use of entomology knowledge in investigating criminal activities. Forensic entomology is associated with death investigations. It is used to determine the number of days that have passed after somebody died or the minimum time since death.
This is through identification of age of the insects found on the human corpse. The significant assumption is that the body has not been dead for a longer time than insects took to arrive and even develop (Answers. com, 2010). Forensic Entomology ApplicationsForensic entomology is also used to detect poisons and drugs. It is used in determining the exact location where incident took place. Forensic entomology is also used to detect or determine the duration of a period of neglect in the children or elderly as well as time and presence of wounds infliction.
It is widely used in detecting abuse in children and in elderly. There have been cases that that some parents intentionally use wasps and bees to punish their children using insects to sting them (Greenberg, 2002). Entomological evidence has for a long time been used as a way to prove abandon or neglect as well as lack of proper care of wounds in elderly who are under institutional and private care. Forensic entomology is also used to examine insect remains lodged and impacted in windshield and radiators of automobiles.
Such remains give evidence on the possible path and particular areas through which the automobile passed. Forensic entomology examines the insects that feed on living, dried or decomposing vegetable matters submitted to forensic entomologists in trying to establish the country of origin. This applies mostly on the plants like cannabis and other drug plants (Byrd, 2000). Tools used in Forensic EntomologyThere are various tools used in forensic entomology in collecting proper evidence. Good entomological evidence collection requires proper types of equipment. They are several forensic preconfigured kits that are available.
Some of the essential tools used in entomology evidence collection include nets, vials, forceps, preservation chemicals, latex gloves, sticky traps, and collection containers among others. Nets are used to trap the insects to be used in forensic investigation. They can be aerial or sweep nets. The most used nets have 18” handle that is wooden and a sturdy 15-18” diameter steel ring that is galvanized. The net is constructed from polyester with muslin ring band. Collection vials are also referred as kill jars. Screw-cap types are the best and is used in most crime scene collections and is usually preferred and used by law enforcement officials.
It is used to store or preserve specimens or insects collected for the investigation. Vials have preservation fluid used to preserve specimens collected. Vials are used together with preservation chemicals like Acetone and Ethyl Alcohol.