Integrated pest management for environmental, human health
The urban entomology program at Dallas provides public information, education, and professional training on urban pests and integrated pest management — the science-based system of varied methods for controlling pests while keeping people and the environment safe. Contact Dr. Mike Merchant at michael.merchant@ag.TAMU.edu for information about urban entomology at Dallas.
- Insect identification for the public - Our team fields inquiries from individuals and organizations on local and regional insect pests. Answers to many common questions are available on our Insects in the city website — a free resource for pest information online.
- Pesticide applicator training program - Our spring and fall pest management seminars each year provide regional industry professionals with the latest scientific information on pesticide properties and use from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service — the state's single largest provider of continuing education units for pesticide applicators.
- IPM Experience House - This real-world simulation facility at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas offers hands-on training for pest management professionals. It includes working examples of a commercial kitchen, a nursing home bedroom, a restaurant dining area, a hotel room, a residential living room, and outdoor structures for termite treatment education, including a landscape of diverse regional plant life. Check the events calendar on this page for upcoming training events or contact Dr. Mike Merchant for scheduling.
- Annual Master Volunteer Entomology Specialist Training
- Informative public presentations
Managing arthropod pests affecting human health
Our interactive Mosquito Safari website remains one of our most effective tools for learning about mosquitoes and mosquito borne disease. We also Develop training and awareness programs on mosquitoes and mosquito control, as well as Zika.
Urban Entomology program leader Dr. Merchant maintains a blog on topics of interest to the pest control industry at and invites anyone with an interest in pest control to subscribe.
Links for the public
Insects in the City - a wealth of information on identifying and managing insects.
Dr. Merchant's pest control blog - a blog specifically for industry professionals that welcomes other enthusiasts
Links for professionals
IPM Experience house website - a web overview of the premier facility for training pest management professionals.
Master Volunteer Entomology Specialist Training Information - a resource for information on training including a full listing of schedules.
Mosquito Safari Website - a site built to teach visitors about mosquitoes and mosquito control methods.
Urban Entomology Initiatives
Addressing Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs are one of the fastest growing pest problems in the U.S. affecting homes, hotels, apartments, businesses and shelters. Our research on traps and lures has revealed more effective techniques for shelters to monitor problems among society's most vulnerable population, the homeless. We continue to provide training to homeless shelters and multifamily housing providers on IPM for bed bugs. To date, the program has trained 174 shelter managers, 25 day care professionals, and 300 pest management professionals.
Tracking and containing invasive pests
Our entomology group collaborates with other states to track and help contain the spreading of invasive pests, including crepe myrtle bark scale, emerald ash borer, hibiscus bud weevil and the brown marmorated stink bug, whose establishment we work to prevent in Texas. Our team uses the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System to track these pests, assisting researchers with current information on where and how fast pests are spreading. For more information about spreading invasive species in Texas, see https://www.texasinvasives.org/
Addressing emerging pests: Crapemyrtle bark scale
Dallas entomologists who discovered the crapemyrtle bark scale in Texas, 2004, continue to explore effective control measures for it. CMBS, as the insect is known, destroys the aesthetics of Texas' prized ornamental crapemyrtle tree. the Dallas entomology program so far has identified a subsequent (2015) species of the original pest and developed methods for sampling and detecting CMBS. The group now works to determine effectiveness of neonicotinoid insecticides as soil treatments for the insect. They work with a team of external experts to establish a national pest tracking system to follow the scale as it spreads. Additionally, the group tests phenology and natural controls of the pest in North Texas, developing better integrated pest management of CMBS — tactics for low-cost, environmentally sound control. Contact Dr. Mike Merchant for information.