Synopsis for 11:370:352.

Click here for Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Lena B. Brattsten (
Semester, Period: Spring odd years; M (10:55 – 12:15), W (12:35 – 1:55) Lecture
Location: (Old) Blake Hall 101
Pre-requisites and other registration restrictions: 11:119:101-102, General Biology; 01:160: 307 or 308, one term of Organic Chemistry; 11 370 381, Insect Biology; and consent of instructor.  
Required Texts:  A. Spielman & M. D’Antonio, 2001, Mosquito – A natural history of our most persistent and deadly foe. Hyperion, New York.
Description: This course is not a practical control and spray applications regimen or insecticide specificities protocol collection. You will not learn what, how much, or when to spray something to control and insect problem. It does not deal with pollutants, i.e., compounds that are potentially toxic because they accidentally occur in the wrong places at the wrong times. The main objective with this course is to provide a clear comprehensive presentation of the plethora of compounds designed to kill specific target organisms and a clear understanding of how to use them most efficiently for their purpose and with the least detrimental effects for non-target organisms and biological systems. We have plenty to learn about HOW to use insecticides; “banning” insecticides or anything else has never yet in human history solved a single problem.This course will enable insect control professionals to make informed decisions that optimize use in specific, local situations in harmony with the abilities of insects to rapidly evolve local populations. It complements the several other courses in the Entomology department instructing about ecological, population genetic, and biological constraints and conditions for insect control.This course will encompass discussions about multiple topics essential to current and future insect control efforts, including historical use and misuse, descriptive chemistry of synthetic, “natural”, botanical, and microbial insecticides; salient features of theirmolecular structures explaining their metabolism and mode of action; the interaction between insecticides, other pesticides and commercial synergists; evolution of insecticide resistance; role of insecticides in IPM programs; detrimental environmental effects; health hazards; the need for developing and using insecticides in efforts to minimize insect-vectored virus epidemics or livestock epizootics.

Course Learning Goals:

  • Knowledge of the structural diversity of compounds designed to kill insect disease vectors, and competitors for human food, fiber, and shelter.
  • Understanding the mode of biochemical action of the different classes of compounds and how insects defend themselves against such compounds by molecular modifications of the target sites and by metabolism.
  • Understanding how and why insecticidal compounds can be included in IPM control strategies and how insecticide efficacy is influenced by compounds used to control weeds and pathogenic fungi.
  • To learn the molecular structures that enable their modes of action and detoxification mechanisms, the commercial naming strategies of insecticides and the industrial strategies for discovering and devising new compounds and to appreciate their value, usefulness, limitations, and risks.

Student Learning Assessment: [% of final grade]

  • 5 online quizzes [75%]
  • One report on an assigned topic [25%]

Contact Information:
Dr. Lena B. Brattsten
Room 133, Thompson Hall

848-932- 8166, 732-921-0131/Office Hours Open