Skip to main content
Think and Do The Extraordinary
Support the Unit

Wes Watson

Professor Emeritus

Medical and Veterinary Entomology

1108 Grinnells Laboratory Campus Box 7626 Raleigh, NC USA 27695-7626


The Veterinary Entomology research and extension program is focused on animal health and well-being for livestock and poultry in both conventional and organic production systems, and the surrounding environment. My responsibilities are in the development of an integrated pest management program supporting regional and national initiatives to reduce pesticides in our foods and the environment, reduce pathogens in the food supply and on the farm, and provide a healthy environment for the welfare of humans and animals. Current projects are focused on the management of flies, mastitis and infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) in pasture ecosystems, promotion of beneficial dung insects in pastures, management of filth flies associated with food waste, and fly, mite and darkling beetle control in poultry production. This effort fosters collaboration and cooperation with researchers, and extension specialists with common interests in the departments of Poultry Science, Animal Science, Food Science, Agriculture and Bioengineering, and within the College of Veterinary Medicine. Multidisciplinary alliances formed at the regional and national level are supported through multistate and national initiatives through state and federal agencies, international programs and commodity support. Knowledge and technologies developed through research- based collaborative associations directly improve animal production systems and quality of life within farm and non- farming communities. North Carolina State University houses the only Veterinary Entomology program in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Current investigations include the role of house flies and other arthropods in maintaining biosecurity on poultry farms. This project targets the dissemination of foodborne pathogens on and between farms, and in the community. IPM plays a vital role in improved biosecurity.

A second study is investigating pesticide alternatives for the management of horn flies on beef and dairy cattle. Horn fly densities were reduced to below threshold levels on cattle using a walk through fly trap. This and an ecological study of dung beetles and their role in pasture improvement and pest management are currently underway at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Goldsboro, NC and the Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC.


Veterinary Entomology is the study of arthropod pests associated with livestock and poultry. Pest problems often arise from the activities of domestication and and culturing of livestock for food. Livestock and poultry pest management involves a diversity of host animals, their respective parasites and diseases, and how these problems impact humans. Cattle and horse producers are concerned with pasture flies, barn flies, ticks and tick borne disease. Concerns of the swine producer include cockroaches and flies, and their disease transmission potential. My research concentrates on establishing disease and disease transmission potential of targeted pests and to develop management practices under the IPM canopy, focusing on these pest issues. Such integrated strategies include cultural, biological, mechanical, and when needed, chemical control.



BA, University of Wyoming (1973)
MS, University of Wyoming (1985)
Ph.D, University of Nebraska (1991)