A good insect field guide can aid people in identifying insects in a variety of habitats. Some of these guides, such as Princeton University Press' "Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs," focus specifically on those insects that people are likely to encounter in their gardens.
In addition to print field guides, several online guides are also available, such as the insect guide of University of Minnesota Extension. Website visitors can use this guide to search insects by categories such as lawn insects, tree insects, fruit and vegetable insects, and household insects, or they can search an alphabetical list of insect names. Faculty members and researchers at the university write many of the entries.
Each entry provides a description of the insect in question to help in identification, relying on such features as length, color and anatomical characteristics. The guide usually also has one or more pictures of the insect in question. Other features in many of the entries are details of the life and breeding cycle and scientific name. The website discusses many garden pests and also supplies information on the potential damage each insect can bring, plants likely to be affected and methods for controlling the pest.