BSPM 356B - Horticultural Entomology: Food Crops

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BSPM 356B (Horticultural Entomology: Food Crops) is the second 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 356A-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 356B (Horticultural Entomology: Food Crops) focus is on the primary insect and mite pests associated with vegetables, fruits, and herbs. For all key pest groups students will learn to identify the insects and their associated injury so they can assess damage potential in field situations. Students will understand best management practices for these pests and learn how to locate available resources that can assist in handling specific pest problems.

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: Insects that affect seedling plants (cutworms, root maggots); generalist pests (earwigs, slugs)
  • Week Two: Insects that chew on leaves of plants (caterpillars, leaf beetles, grasshoppers)
  • Week Three: Insects that directly damage fruit (codling moth, fruit flies), corn earworm and relatives, root/crown borers, stem borers, leafminers.
  • Week Four: Insects that feed with sucking mouthparts (aphids, whiteflies, true bugs)
  • Week Five: Psyllids, leafhoppers, spider mites, thrips. Insect vectored plant diseases to vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

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


BSPM 102 (Insects, Science, and Society) or Applied and General Entomology or BSPM 356A (Horticultural Entomology Introduction)

Important Information

Students not seeking academic credit should enroll in AGLL 2702.


Whitney Cranshaw
Whitney Cranshaw

9704916781 |

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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