BSPM 356A - Horticultural Entomology Introduction

  • 1 credit


BSPM 356A is the first of three, one-credit courses that collectively cover the insects that one may commonly find feeding on plants in yards, gardens and landscape settings. Horticultural Entomology (BSPM 356 A-C) is designed to provide a firm supporting background in entomology for students pursuing degrees in horticultural programs. However, these courses are also aimed to provide a means of continuing education for those already professionally involved in plant protection. This course should also be of interest to most anyone who has an interest in plants and their care, and would like to learn more about the insects found in yards and gardens and to learn about their management.

Learning Objectives:

In BSPM 356A (Horticultural Entomology Introduction) fundamental entomology principles are covered. This includes basics of insect/mite life history (life cycles, development), features that define insects and other arthropods, insect identification (adults and immatures) to the order level, and an exposure to reference sources that can allow further specialization. Students will also become familiar with basic concepts used to manage insects with strong emphasis on understanding the principles underlying Integrated Pest Management, and how to apply them.
This is a five-week asynchronous course. There is no official meeting time and during the week students are able to set their own schedule of class participation. Each week on Monday at noon MST the lectures, recommended readings, and weekly project assignments will be released.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Week One: Introduction to Arthropods, External Features of Insects, Insect Development and Metamorphosis, Arachnid Features
  • Week Two: Introduction to Taxonomy, Learning the Insect Orders
  • Week Three: Natural Enemies of Insects (Predators, Parasitoids, Hunting Wasps, Insect pathogens)
  • Week Four: Introduction to IPM Principles, Cultural and Mechanical Controls, Attractants and Repellents, Biological Control, Bees
  • Week Five: An Introduction to Insecticides, Natural Products/“Organic” Insecticides, Major Insecticide Classes and Features

Additional courses in this series are BSPM 356B (Horticultural Entomology: Food Crops) and BSPM 356C (Horticultural Entomology: Landscape Plants), which are offered sequentially. BSPM 356A, or a suitable prerequisite, is required to enroll in these other courses.

Credit not allowed for both BSPM 102 (Insects, Science, and Society) and BSPM 356A. Credit not allowed for both BSPM 302 (Applied General Entomology) and BSPM 356A. Credit not allowed for both BSPM 303B (Entomology Laboratory: Horticultural) and BSPM 356A.

This course can be applied toward:


HORT 100-179 or LIFE 100-179.

Important Information

Students not seeking academic credit should enroll in AGLL 2701.

Textbooks and Materials

No textbooks are required for this course.


Whitney Cranshaw
Whitney Cranshaw

(970) 491-6781 |

Whitney Cranshaw is a professor and Extension Specialist of Entomology at Colorado State University. For the past 33 years he has conducted a broadly based program largely directed at questions involving arthropod pests affecting horticultural commodities in Colorado, including vegetables, shade trees, turfgrass and specialty crops. This has resulted in production of over 85 refereed publications and several hundred related to Extension and outreach. Among the latter include the books Pests of the West, Garden Insects of North America, Guide to Colorado Insects, and, most recently, Bugs Rule! An Introduction to the World of Insects. Whitney Cranshaw maintains an active Extension presence throughout the state and, increasingly, around the US annually addressing 30-50 program events including training sessions for Master Gardeners, arborists, turf care professionals, pest control operators, and vegetable producers. He also maintains the Colorado Insect Information Web site at:

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