College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Mike Rust

Michael Rust

Distinguished Professor of the Graduate Division

BA Biology 1970
Hiram College, Ohio
MA Entomology 1973
University of Kansas
PhD Entomology 1975
University of Kansas
Research Areas

Urban entomology - structural pest control

Contact Information
College Building North 102A
(951) 827-5327

Research Specialization - Urban entomology is the study of insects and arthropods associated with people in cities. At UC Riverside, the goals are to explore the basic biology of pests that attack stored foods, museum objects, fiber, structures, and pets and to develop integrated pest management strategies. Students conduct research on the biology and control of ants, cockroaches, fleas, yellowjackets, and termites, which represent the major economic pests in urban settings worldwide. In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness and interest in the use of alternative pest control technologies that reduce the amount of insecticide used. Ongoing projects include the use of baits to control ants in urban and agricultural areas, baiting and soil treatments to control subterranean termites, nutrient dynamics and food flow in subterranean termite and ant colonies, and the development of IPM programs to control yellowjackets. Recent studies conducted by our students include the response of ants to barrier treatments, nutrient and bait dynamics in ant and termite colonies, physiological ecology of drywood termites, insecticide resistance in cat flea populations, and interactions between ants and dead nestmates (necrophoresis). Our approach to urban pest management has always emphasized innovative and creative research. Student research topics balance both basic and applied aspects, ensuring maximum exposure and training to the field of urban entomology. We explore conventional as well as novel methods of pest management emphasizing the reduction in the use of pesticides. Little is known about the biology and ecology of most major urban insect pests. The urban pest management practices of the future have yet to be exploited.

Awards Received

2010-IPM Team Award Entomological Society of America, National

2010-IPM Team Award Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch 
2009-Life Time Achievement Award - Association of Applied IPM Ecologists. 
2008-Entomological Society of America Recognition Award in Entomology, Pacific Branch 
2007 - Pest Control Hall of Fame 
2002 - PCT/Zeneca Leadership Award 
2002 - PCT/Syngenta Leadership Award 
2002 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 
2000 - Pest Control Technology's 25 Most Influential People in the Industry 
2000 - Mallis Recognition Award, National Conference on Urban Entomology 
1999-2000 - UC Presidential Scholar in Entomology 
1999-2001 - Presidential Chair in Entomology 
1995 - Book of Professional Services Award Pi Chi Omega 
1995 - Excellence in Entomology Award -California Association, American Registry of Professional Entomologists 
1994 W. W. Woodworth Award, Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America 
1993 Distinguished Achievement Award in Urban Entomology, Entomological Society of America 
1990, 1995, 1997 - Orkin Research Award 
1990, 1991, 1993 - Outstanding Urban Entomologist Award, Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America


Choe, D.-H., R.S. Vetter, and M.K. Rust. 2010. Development of virtual bait stations to control Agentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in environmentally sensitive habitats. J. Econ. Entomol. 103: 1761-1769.

Klotz, J.H., Hansen, L., Field, H., Rust, M., Oi, D., and Kupfer, K. 2010. Urban Pest Management of Ants in California. Univ. Calif. Ag. Nat. Resources. Davis, CA 72pp.

Choe, D.-H., Millar, J.G., Rust, M.K. 2009. Chemical signals associated with life inhibit necrophoresis in Argentine ants. PNAS 106: 8251-8255

Greenberg, L., Kabashinma, J.N., Allison, C.J., Rust, M.K., Klotz, J.H., Hurvois, J., Paine, T.D. 2008. Lethality of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) venom to Agentine ants (Linepithema humile) and other ant species. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 101: 1162-1168

Klotz, J.H., Hansen, L., Pospischil, R., Rust, M.K. 2008. Urban Ants of North America and Europe: identification, biology, and management. Cornell Press.

Choe, D-H., Rust, M.K. 2008, Horizontal transfer of insecticides in the laboratory colonies of the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera). J. Econ. Entomol. 101: 1397-1405. 

Rust, M.K., Saran, R.K. 2008. The toxicity, repellency, and effects of acetamiprid on the western subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 101: 1360-1366 

Saran, R.K., Rust, M.K. 2008. Phagostimulatory sugars enhance uptake and horizontal transfer of hexaflumuron in the western subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). J. Econ. Entomol. Vol. 101: p.873-879. 

Kabashima, J.N., Greenberg, L., Rust, M.K., Paine, T.D. 2007. Aggressive interactions between Solenopsis invicta and Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) under laboratory conditions. J. Econ. Entomol. Vol. 100: p.148-154 

Saran, R.J., J.G. Millar, and M K. Rust. 2007. Role of (3Z,6Z,8E) – Dodecatrien-1-ol in trail following, feeding, and mating behavior. J. Chem. Ecol. 33: 369-389. 

Choe, D.-H. and M.K. Rust. 2007. Use of plant resin by a bee assassin bug Apiomerus flaviventris (Hemiptera:Reduviidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am.100: 320-326. 

Choe, D.-H, and M. K. Rust. 2006. Agonistic behavior of Argentine ants to scales and scale parasitoids and their cuticular extracts. Sociobiology 48: 799-818. 

Choe, D.-H. and M.K. Rust. 2006. Homopteran chemical signatures reduce aggression of tending ants. Chemoecology 16: 175-178. 

Saran, R.J. and M.K. Rust. 2005. Feeding, uptake, and utilization of carbohydrates by the western subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 98: 1284-129 

Haagsma, K. and M. K. Rust. 2005. Effect of hexaflumerun on mortality of thewestern subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) during and following exposure and movement of hexaflumeron in termite colonies. Pest Manage. Sci. 61: 517-531. 

Soeprono, A. M. and M. K. Rust. 2004. The effect of delayed toxicity of chemical barriers to control Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 97: 2021-2028. 

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