Urban Structural Entomology

The Urban Structural Entomology program deals with pests that commonly cause nuisance problems, economic damage, and public health concerns in and around structural, residential, and industrial settings. The program blends basic and applied research components with traditional education and extension-outreach activities about pests that affect people and the buildings in which they live and work. Current research efforts focus on major pest groups such as cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, and termites, but there are opportunities for projects on other important pests. Extension efforts cover all major arthropod groups and include management of commensal rodents and other vertebrate "nuisance" pests.

Research and Extension Areas

Four research and extension faculty currently work in the urban structural entomology program making it one of the largest in the country.  Faculty members are listed for the primary research areas but they also collaborate on a variety of projects for pests such as mosquitoes, bed bugs, and other structural and public health pests.




  • Patricia Alder - Pest Management Training Coordinator, IPM in Schools and Day Care
  • Mike Waldvogel - Residential, Structural & Industrial Pests; School IPM

Allied Faculty

These faculty members work in areas related to urban structural entomology and collaborate in research and extension activities:

  • Dr. Charles Apperson (Ret.) – Extension-Research Public Health Pests
  • Dr. Michael Reiskind – Public Health Entomology
  • Dr. Wayne Buhler (Horticulture) – Pesticide Education
  • Dr. Greg Cope (Applied Ecology) – Pesticide toxicity, Agromedicine Program
  • Dr. Sarah Kirby (Family & Consumer Sciences) – Construction & Moisture Issues
  • Dr. Matt Bertone – Pest Identification (Plant Disease and Insect Clinic)

Study Programs

Undergraduate Studies

We do not offer a four-year undergraduate degree program in urban structural entomology however, students interested in this field can earn an entomology minor. Undergraduates may also find opportunities to participate in faculty research projects, particularly through the CALS Honors program or through part-time or summer employment. Contact individual faculty members regarding employment opportunities.

Agricultural Institute

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a two-year Associate Degree in Applied Science through the Agricultural Institute. Students can take entomology courses in the following urban-related fields:

Graduate Studies

There are many opportunities for graduate study in urban entomology covering both basic and applied research. Check the specific faculty programs to find topics of interest to you. The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology offers three entomology graduate degree programs: Master of Entomology (non-thesis), Master of Science, and Ph.D.

Financial Support for Graduate Students

Prospective students must have financial support before being accepted into the entomology graduate program. Individual faculty members often have grant-funded research assistantships, and there are a limited number of departmental teaching and research assistantships. Many students alternate semesters between teaching and research assistantships to gain valuable teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are also a number of assistantships and fellowships sponsored by federal, state and private agencies.

Some basic research in aspects of molecular biology, genetics and behavioral ecology is supported by a limited number of fellowships available on campus through the William M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology. There are also two awards specific to the urban entomology program: