Course Syllabus: Insect Pest and Vector Management

ENY 5236

3 credit hours


Instructor: John L. Capinera

Office: Entomology-Nematology Room 1018

Phone: 352-273-3905




For each section, view the course material on CD-rom or WWW.



1.  Introduction


2.  Overview



Part I. Background to Insect Pest and Vector Management


3.  Pests and humans (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 1 and Supplementary Readings 1, 2, 3)

Direct pests, and vectors of plant and animal diseases

Pest status: major, minor, occasional, migrant, potential

Human practices and the occurrence of pests

Not all arthropods are pests: some benefits


4.  The causes of pest and vectored disease outbreaks (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 2 and Supplementary Reading 11)

Population biology

Factors affecting abundance

Density dependence and independence

How people cause outbreaks


5.  Sampling and monitoring arthropods (Reading Assignment: Supplementary Reading 5)

Methods of sampling and monitoring

Components of a sampling plan

Types of sampling plans

Allocation of sampling units


Part II. Approaches to Insect Pest and Vector Management


6.  Insecticides (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 3 and Supplementary Reading 18)


Issues affecting introduction of new products

Types of insecticides


The pesticide label

Toxicity and safety


7.  Application of insecticides (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 4 and Supplementary Readings 7, 14)


Droplet size

Application equipment

Rational application


8.    Problems associated with using insecticides (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 5 and Supplementary Readings 8, 10)

Toxicity to humans and wildlife


Insecticides and disease transmission


9.    Environmental and cultural control (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 6 and Supplementary Reading 4)

Mechanical techniques




Alternate hosts

Multiple and intercropping

Separation in time and space

Crop geometry


10.     Biological control (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 7 and Supplementary Readings 23, 25, 27)

Successes of biocontrol

Types of biocontrol agents




Techniques of biocontrol




Reasons for failure of biocontrol


11.   Insect pathogens (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 8 and Supplementary Reading 15)

Advantages and disadvantages

Types of pathogens: fungi, viruses, bacteria, microsporidia

Transmission of pathogens


12.  Genetic control and area-wide  management (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 9 and “community participation” from Chapter 12, plus Supplementary Reading 6, 12, 13)

Sterile insect technique


Other genetic approaches

Area-wide management


13.     Pheromones (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 10 and Supplementary Reading 17, 19)




Mating disruption/confusion

Alarm pheromones and oviposition deterrents


14.   Host resistance (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 11 and Supplementary Reading 21, 22, 29)

Basis for resistance

Mechanisms of resistance


Induced resistance

Problems of using resistance



15.  Physical measures (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 12 [except legislative section] and Supplementary Reading 20)

Exclusion and barriers


Physical disturbance


Lethal temperature

Controlled atmosphere

Dusts and particulates



16.  Legislation and regulation (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 12 [legislative section] and Supplementary Reading 24)

Exclusion and routes of entry

Risk assessment

Pesticide legislation

Effects of regulation

Genetically modified organisms


17.   Emerging concepts and practices (Reading Assignment: Text, Chapter 13 and Supplementary Readings 9, 16, 26, 27, 28, 30)

The integrated control/ IPM concept

Damage thresholds


Increasing agroecosystem resistance

Pesticide selectivity

Eradication versus control

What limits IPM adoption

Decision support

Managing desert locusts: a case study



Course Description


The principles and practices used in pest management, emphasizing arthropod pests affecting crop and ornamental plants, humans and livestock.





An introductory course in entomology.



Course Goals and Objectives


      The goals of this course are (1) to provide a broad overview the philosophy of pest management, including the ecological and economic basis for attainment of pest status, and (2) to discuss the techniques available to pest managers, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Course format


This course is self-paced and CD-ROM or WWW-based. Most of the information you need concerning text and requirements are spelled out in the course syllabus. There are two CDs; you can view the syllabus, view and listen to the lectures for units 1-10, and access some videos on CD number 1. CD number 2 contains units 11-17, and some videos. You probably will want to print the notes and readings for easier reading (be careful, however, as there are a lot of pages!). The supplementary readings also are printable. If you are using a laptop computer, you probably will need speakers or earphones to hear the narration clearly. To start both CDs, click on “index.html”.



If you prefer to access the material on WWW (most people find this easier) you can do so at:




The material is password protected, so after accessing these links you will need to enter your Gatorlink username when prompted; however, you must prefix your username with "ufad\" to indicate that their user accounts exist in UF Active Directory. No quotation marks (  ) are needed, of course.


For example, I would enter my username as "ufad\capinera" then my password. You would do the same, inserting your username in place of ‘capinera’. Common stumbling points include leaving off the prefix, adding a space anywhere within the username, or using a slash (leaning to the right) instead of a backslash (leaning to the left).


The web material is exactly the same as the CDs, so it is broken into two sections (CDs).


I suggest that you print out the Powerpoint notes and use them to make any additional notes or comments/questions as you listen to the CD. If something is not clear, do not hesitate to email me with questions.


There are 2 exams and a project for this course. I can schedule the exams at any time, but you should plan on having one at about, or before, the mid-point of the semester (covering sections 1-9) and another before the end (sections 10-17). Note that the distribution of the class material on the CDs does not exactly reflect the exam content; exam 1 covers only sections 1-9.


You should indicate to me when you want to take the exam, and I will email the questions to you. You should provide the answers to me within a week. The project is due two weeks before the end of the semester.


Exams are open-book, and will be sent to you by email. You can use any written materials to help you with the exams, but you must work alone; do not consult other people. You can return the exams to me, as well as your project, as an email attachment. Please return the exams within a week.  IT IS IMPORTANT that you acknowledge my emails, and I will acknowledge yours; otherwise we will be uncertain of receipt of materials. The only way you can be assured that your tests and project have been submitted successfully is to have my acknowledgment.


As you complete your exams and project, keep in mind that because it is open-book, and you are not time-limited, so I expect that spelling and grammar will be correct.






Grading for Course


      The course grade is based on performance on 2 exams and a project. Each exam represents 40% and the paper 20%. The final grade will be assigned as: 














      Questions are provided in each of the lessons.  They are based on the material presented on the CD and text readings, and the supplementary readings. They are designed to help you understand some of what is important for you to know. However, this course is not simply a memorization activity, I expect you to analyze/interpret the information and to answer my test questions creatively. Because you are not under a time constraint (you have a week to complete the exam,


      Grade point equivalencies for grades are found at:


Project requirement




      This requirement is to prepare a 5-10 page analysis of one type of pest management technique. You can choose any technique in which you have an interest, so long as it is not too narrow. You should explain how it works, where it is applied, and its advantages and disadvantages. Cite references using standard journal citation format (consult and scientific paper such as the supplemental reading contained herein for examples). Remember, you have electronic access to journals and books in the UF library, so there should be journal and/or review (book) article citations, not simply ‘grey’ literature from the WWW.


Examples might be topics such as:

·         Predatory fish for mosquito suppression

·         Animal dung destruction by beetles for suppression of biting flies

·         Nematodes for suppression of below-ground insect pests

·         Hormone analogs for selective control of insects

·         The use of Bacillus thuringiensis for insect control

·         Molecular manipulation of toxins for enhanced plant resistance.

·         Fire as an insect management tool

·         Water management for insect control

·         Pheromones for fruit pest management

·         Augmentative release of beneficial insects in greenhouses.

·         The safety of insecticides freely available to the public.


Check with me about your paper topic BEFORE you start, please.


      This report can be submitted in either electronic or hard copy form, and must be received by the instructor at least 2 weeks before the end of the semester. Late submissions automatically will receive one lower letter grade.





Van Emden, H.F. and M.W. Service. 2004. Pest and Vector Control. Cambridge University Press. 349 pp. (Note: Text is recommended, not required)


Other readings as assigned (see supplemental reading list).



List of supplemental readings (Note: Required reading)


These readings are on your CD. You should print and read them.


1. History and insects. Pages 1158-1169 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


2. Decomposer insects. Pages 1810-1826 in Encyclopedia of Entomology



3. Transmission of plant diseases by insects Pages 3853-3885 in Encyclopedia of entomology (2008).


4. Host plant selection by insects. Pages 1163-1173 in Encyclopedia of

Entomology (2008).


5. Sampling arthropods. Adapted from pages 3231-3246 in Encyclopedia of

Entomology (2008).


6. Area-wide insect pest management. Pages 266-282 in Encyclopedia of

Entomology (2008).


7. Insecticide application: the dose transfer process. Pages 1958-1974 in

Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


8. Management of insect-vectored pathogens of plants. Pages 2277-2280 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


9. Economic injury level and economic threshold concepts in pest management. Pages 1282-1286 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


10. Plant viruses and insects. Pages 2938-2945 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


11. North American vegetable pests; the pattern of invasion. American

Entomologist 48: 20-39 (2002).


12. Medfly (Diptera: Tephritidae) genetic sexing: large-scale field comparison of males-only and bisexual sterile fly releases in Guatemala. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1547-1553.


13. Recapture of sterile Mediterranean fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in California’s preventative release program. Journal of Economic Entomology  97: 1554-1562 (2004).


14. Effect of temperature on efficacy of insecticides to differential grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1595-1602 (2004).


15. Plant-incorporated Bacillus thuringiensis resistance for control of fall armyworm and corn earworm  (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in corn. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1603-1611 (2004).


16. Tactics for management of thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and tomato spotted wilt virus in tomato. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1648-1658



17. Comparison of sticky wing and cone pheromone traps for monitoring seasonal abundance of black cutworm adults and larvae on golf courses. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1666-1670 (2004).


18. Evaluation of a nonconventional insecticide and appropriate application timing for destruction of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) egg

masses. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1671-1674 (2004).


19. Monitoring western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) susceptibility to carbaryl and curcurbitacin baits in the areawide management pilot program. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1726-1733 (2004).


20. Management of aphid-borne viruses and Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in zucchini squash by using UV reflective plastic and wheat straw mulches. Environmental Entomology 33: 1447-1457 (2004). 


21. Efficacy of permethrin-treated uniforms in combination with DEET topical repellent for protection of French military troops in Ivory Coast. Journal of Medical Entomology 41: 914-921 (2004).


22. Laboratory evaluation of mosquito repellents against Aedes albopictus, Culex nigripalpus, and Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 41: 726-730.


23. Release, establishment and monitoring of Bemisia tabaci natural enemies in the United States. Pages 58-65 in International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods (2002).


24. Field effects of BT corn on the impact of parasitoids and pathogens on

European corn borer in Illinois. Pages 278-283 in International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods (2002).


25. Classical biological control of arthropods in the 21st century. Pages 3-16 in International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods (2002).


26. Augmentation biological control using the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema feltiae against the South American leafminer Liriomyza huiobrensis. Pages 136-140 in International Symposium on Biological

Control of Arthropods (2002).


27. Augmentation in orchards: improving the efficacy of Trichogramma inundation. Pages 130-135 in International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods (2002).


28. Bioclimatic models in entomology. Pages 478-481 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


29. Push-pull strategy for insect management. Pages 3074-3082 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).


30. School IPM, or pest management on school grounds. Pages 3289-3299 in Encyclopedia of Entomology (2008).




Academic Honesty, Software Use, Services for Students with Disabilities, UF Counseling Services


Academic Honesty:


The University requires all members of its community to be honest in all endeavors.  Cheating, plagiarism, and other acts diminish the process of learning.  When students enroll at UF they commit themselves to honesty and integrity.  Your instructor fully expects you to adhere to the academic honesty guidelines you signed when you were admitted to UF.


Plagiarism is the use of ideas or writings produced by someone else. You should not use the writings of another person, including material from the internet WWW), without putting the ideas in your own words, or placing the copied material in quotes and attributing authorship. In the scientific literature, quotations are rarely used. You should use your own words for answering questions on exams, and in your class project.


As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statement:


“I understand the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work.  I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University. Furthermore, on work submitted for credit by UF students, the following pledge is either required or implied:  “ On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”


It is to be assumed that all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the professor.


This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course. 


Software Use:


All faculty, staff, and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use.  Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. 

Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. 



Campus Helping Resources


Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. These are confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.


·       University Counseling and Wellness Center, 3192 Radio Road, 392-1575,



Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Center for Sexual Assault / Abuse Recovery & Education (CARE)


Eating Disorders Program


Employee Assistance Program


Suicide Prevention Program


·       Career Resource Center, CR-100 JWRU, 392-1601 ext: 0,


·       Student Complaints


·       E-learning help desk





Students With Disabilities Act:


The Dean of Students Office coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes the registration of disabilities, academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services, and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.


·       Disability Resource Center



·       Dean of Students Office, 202 Peabody Hall, 392-7066,