January 29, 2015
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

Agricultural Pest Management

Potato Beetle,  Chrysomelidae  Lema trivittata

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Faculty: Pedro Barbosa, Amy E. Brown, Galen P. Dively, Daniel Gruner, Cerruti Hooks, William LampMichael Raupp, Paula Shrewsbury, Raymond St. Leger

Adjunct/Affiliate Faculty: Gerald Brust

Staff: Mike Embrey, Terry Patton

Agricultural crops are of considerable importance to the Maryland economy and also vital to other industries, such as poultry, the leading agricultural enterprise, which relies upon certain field crops for feed and a place for waste management. To ensure profitable production, faculty members with pest management expertise in the Department of Entomology address both short- and long-term solutions to the most important arthropod-related problems facing Maryland agriculture. Management strategies that are environmentally and socially acceptable are developed and implemented to protect the unique environment associated with the Chesapeake and nearby urban areas.

Applied Research

Currently, major emphasis is placed on pest management strategies for use in corn, soybeans, small grains, forage crops, vegetables, and beekeeping. High priority is placed on applied research to solve problems and address issues of immediate concern. For example, with the introduction of transgenic insecticidal crops, Entomology faculty have taken a leadership role in evaluating benefits and potential uses of this new technology, assessing its potential impacts on nontarget invertebrates, and developing resistance management strategies. Other applied projects focus on control strategies for new emerging pests, application strategies for reducing the cost and selection pressure of insecticides, baseline monitoring and detection of pest resistance, development of economic treatment thresholds, decision aids, and monitoring methods, enhancement of biological control through conservation and landscape design, insecticide efficacy and environmental fate studies to support new insecticide registrations, and management of mite pests of honeybees.


Basic Research

Basic research toward long term solutions is underway in the areas of host plant resistance, plant/insect interactions, biology of new pest species, plant-mediated resistance, ecology and behavior of natural enemies, isolation of bioactive substances from microbial symbionts of insects, and the identification and incorporation of genes from entomopathogenic fungi into plants.


Multidisciplinary Approach

Emphasis is placed on multidisciplinary approaches, so many projects involve departmental faculty members with plant pathology, weed science, and nematology expertise, faculty from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and scientists from government agencies and the private sector.

An annual report of pest management activities and projects in Maryland is posted on the Maryland Pest Management Program Website.