Subtropical Pest Management Laboratory

The Subtropical Pest Management Laboratory is the cornerstone of insect pest management, whereby pest populations are managed through a combination of chemical, biological and cultural control strategies.  As new technologies become available, these can be incorporated into existing IPM programs. Our laboratory is focused on two main components 1) Zebra Chip Monitoring Program and 2) Chemical Trials.

Zebra Chip Monitoring Program

The Zebra Chip Monitoring Program was funded by a federal grant from USDA-NIFA-Specialty Crops Research Initiative. This program consisted of a multi-state, multi-disciplinary team of scientists, economists, and extension specialists, and a 12 member advisory board of producers, processors and industry representatives that were assembled to address all aspects of Zebra Chip using an integrated, whole system approach. Our research team has been involved in this monitoring program with the aim of providing real-time potato psyllid population dynamics to local growers and farmers for Zebra Chip control.


Chemical Trials

Our laboratory conducts efficacy evaluation experiments of current, improved and experimental active ingredients of insecticides sponsored by agrochemical companies. The experiments are conducted in the laboratory, greenhouse and field, in vegetables and row crops.

Our Capabilities

  • Conduct efficacy insecticide, herbicide, fertilizer, and fungicide evaluations.
  • Conduct precision active ingredient applications in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field.
  • Conduct wind tunnel olfactometer bioassays.
  • Conduct choice, no-choice tests.
  • Conduct active ingredient toxicity on insects and phytotoxicity on plants.

 Laboratory Photos

Texas AgriLife Research Vegetable IPM Laboratory at Weslacoimage4


Insect Colonies


Greenhouse Facility



Program Long Term Goals

The long-term goals are to cooperate with fruit and vegetable industries, researchers and extension personnel to develop, propose and deliver IPM programs that will reduce growers’ reliance on pesticide and protect the environment. The focus of our research is to understand the behavioral and ecological factors affecting the management of key fruit and vegetable pests and to develop sound ecologically-based pest management programs.


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