Insects aren't just disgusting bugs in your space, they help solve crimes too

The study of insects (forensic entomology) plays an integral role in how forensic investigators piece together clues to solving legal and criminal matters.

702's Azania Mosaka on Wednesday spoke to Professor Martin Villet about this type of science.

Listen to the conversation below:

If it's not about the law then it's not forensic... Anything to do with crime is called medical criminal forensic entomology.

Prof Martin Villet, SA Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory

We're more interested in how long ago the insects arrived on the scene because that will tell you how long ago someone died.

Prof Martin Villet, SA Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory

If the insects have been breeding (and that's really the important part) and the eggs have hatched, then there'll be maggots...If we measure the maggots carefully, we get a good estimate of how old they are and that will tell you how long the person has been dead.

Prof Martin Villet, SA Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory
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