Forensic entomology is the application and analysis of insect and arthropods to criminal investigations.
When collected from human remains and scenes of crime, insects and arthropods can be an effective tool in determining post mortem interval and establishing whether a body may have been disturbed, concealed, or moved after death. These analyses rely primarily upon the identification and development cycles of insect species that colonise human remains as part of their habitat and environment.
Entomological evidence can assist in the detection of drugs, toxins and other chemicals. DNA can also be extracted from the crop (fore-gut) of a maggot or a beetle to determine its food source and therefore may be a powerful analytical tool in ‘no body’ murders.
Forensic entomology can also be utilised in cases of neglect, wound myiasis (insect infestation of a living organism), animal welfare and wildlife crime, and food and hygiene infestation investigations.