Integrated Pest Management

Part of El Paso AgriLife personnel & Chico the Chihuahua during the Pesticide Applicator Training. Feb. 10, 2015.

The Integrated Pest Management Program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides research-based information and education for agricultural producers, agribusiness, consumers and citizens in the urban areas. The IPM Program disseminates expert, reliable, and current educational information in the areas of integrated pest management.

The IPM Program offers education that transfers new knowledge and technologies from research to users, enhances communities and the environment, and enables individuals to improve the quality of their lives through improved decision-making. Research is an integral part of this program whereby demonstrations in agriculture are conducted every year to determine the IPM practices needed by producers to increase yield and profit and reduce conventional pesticide use.

The Integrated Pest Management Agent serves the Agricultural and Urban clientele of El Paso County and Hudspeth County. He is supported by Extension Specialists who provide current research applications and educational material. These Specialists are located on the Texas A&M University campus and at district research and extension centers across the state.

THE 2015 EL PASO PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING was held on February 10 at the Ysleta Cultural Arts Center. This event was sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas Department of Agriculture, El Paso Pest Management Association, and the Ysleta Independent School District. Five CEUs were provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Structural Pest Control Service, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture,

El Paso Pesticide Applicator Training Workshop (during lunch) at YISD Cultural Arts Center. Feb. 10, 2015.

El Paso Pesticide Applicator Training Workshop (during lunch) at YISD Cultural Arts Center. Feb. 10, 2015.

for commercial, non-commercial, and private pesticide applicators. A total of 260 people participated in this educational event. Experts in their respective fields trained the audience on topics such as:  pest and disease identification, weed management, IPM in urban landscapes, worker protection standards, IPM in agriculture, urban forestry, and pesticide laws and regulations.


The Texas Department of Agriculture has contracted with PSI Services LLC to administer exams for all agricultural pesticide licensing. For information on the procedures each agricultural licensee (Private, Commercial, Noncommercial, and Political Subdivision Noncommercial) must follow to take their examination(s) click here. The El Paso Test Center is located at: 1155 Westmoreland, Suite 110 (The Atrium). Directions: From I-10 W, take the Airway exit North. Turn right at the first light (Viscount). Turn right on Westmoreland Dr.

To order the pesticide applicator training manuals please visit: AgriLife Study Manuals.


Is a collection of photographs of insects, spiders, and other local arthropods that can be viewed as a taxonomic list that opens into images or as thumbnails that open into larger pictures.

To view EL PASO BUGS as a taxonomic list (click here)

To view EL PASO BUGS as thumbnails (click here)



YEAR 2015:

  1. January 31– Results of the 2014 El Paso Upland and Pima Cotton Variety Field Trials (yield and fiber analysis). Cotton plant stand density test.
  2. April 6 – Texas entomology loses Dr. Mark Muegge. 2015 El Paso Pesticide Applicator Training. Care and management of trees in the trans-pecos. IPM of medically important arthropods.
  3. April 30 – Cotton field evaluations. First captures of pecan nut casebearer (PNC) moths in the region. Illustrated example of PNC prediction.
  4. June 10 – Cotton heat units. Upcoming second generation of the pecan nut casebearer. Blackmargined and black pecan aphids. Flea beetle outbreak in El Paso.
  5. June 18 – Cotton: damping off, cotton aphids, herbicide drift, and poor control of lambsquarters using glyphosate. Pecan: 2nd-generation PNC moths. Blackmargined aphids surpassed action thresholds.
  6. July 2 – Lygus bugs are increasing and need to be monitored frequently. Beneficial insects at high population levels.  Second-generation pecan nut casebearer moths tapering off. Cotton variety trials plot maps.
  7. July 24 – Outbreak of Southwestern cotton rust in Fort Hancock. Bollworm moths most active from July 14 to 17. Pecan aphids are starting to build up. Monsoon rains have resulted in greater abundance or activity of ants , termites, flea beetles, June beetles, ground beetles, and the Western grapeleaf skeletonizer.
  8. August 28 – Less incidence of Southwestern cotton rust. Cotton aphids are increasingly abundant. Difference between parasitized and normal blackmargined aphids. Pecan bud moth and sugar cane aphids found in NM for first time. Possible red imported fire ant found in El Paso.
  9. September 22 – Pecan bacterial leaf scorch identified in Arizona and New Mexico. Large populations of cotton aphids. Red imported fire ant confirmed in El Paso County.

YEAR 2014:

  1. January 28 – Results of the 2013 El Paso Upland Cotton Variety Field Trials.
  2. March 17 – Results of the 2013 El Paso Evaluation of the Efficacy of Selected Insecticides on Pecan Aphid Population Densities.  Summaries of the 2014 El Paso Pesticide Applicator Training Workshop.
  3. April 2 – Farm Bill. Pecan nut casebearer monitoring program. Summaries of the 2014 Western Pecan Growers Association Conference in Las Cruces, NM.
  4. April 16 –  Soil temperatures for planting cotton. Pecan nut casebearer boring shoots in young pecan trees. Leaf curling in pomegranate. Tamarisk beetles active in Kansas and North Texas.
  5. April 24 – First pecan nut casebearer (PNC) moth captures in El Paso Lower Valley. Attached PNC Forecast brochure.
  6. May 12 – Pima and upland cotton variety trials. Cotton plant stand density trial. Pecan nut casebearer (PNC) damaging young pecan trees. Current PNC population levels.
  7. May 28 – Cotton plant stand densities. Differences in capture efficiency between the “Mexican” and the “standard” PNC pheromone lures. First saltcedar beetles in the region.
  8. June 6 – Cotton heat units. Second generation PNC. Blackmargined pecan aphids at treatment levels. Saltcedar beetles absent in El Paso. June beetle and its parasitoid.
  9. July 31 – Bollworm and Lygus on cotton. PNC and aphids on pecan. Increased abundance of the Subtropical Tamarisk Beetle on saltcedar plants in Far West Texas and New Mexico.
  10. August 15 – Increasing population levels of fall armyworms, bollworms, Lygus bugs, pecan aphids, and whiteflies. Entomological ID challenges.
  11. October 17 – Outdoor burn ban. Lowest blackmargined pecan aphid population in recent years. Cotton harvest aids field trial by Kerry Siders, AgriLife Extension Agent-IPM.
  12. December 19 – El Paso Pesticide Applicator Training to be held on Feb 10, 2015. Partial results of the El Paso 2014 Pima and Upland cotton variety trials. Pima cotton plant stand density evaluation.

Newsletters from the previous 4 years


KTEP-Radio show “Good to Grow”: Saltcedar Biocontrol in  El Paso. Aired on September 13, 2014

Denise Rodriguez and Norma Martinez welcome back Dr. Salvador Vitanza, Extension Agent in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.  Dr. Vitanza tells us about the saltcedar leaf beetle which is defoliating saltcedars along the Rio Grande, including in the El Paso region and into southern New Mexico.  The beetle was released to control the saltcedar plants, considered an invasive species to our region.  Should we concern ourselves with the beetle, or should we let it continue to multiply and defoliate these plants?

Got bugs? Insects in the City is where you can learn more about common insects found around your home and landscape. Check out our fact sheet section for practical information on a variety of insect topics. Not sure what’s bugging you? Pest Wizard will help you name that insect or spider.


YouTube Preview Image


Salvador Vitanza, Ph.D.

Extension Agent-IPM
Ascarate Annex
301 Manny Martinez
2nd Floor
El Paso, TX 79905
Phone: (915) 771-2354
Fax: (915) 771-2356


Salvador head shot 2Dr. Vitanza’s work focuses on cotton, pecan and urban integrated pest management programs in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties, Texas. He conducts weekly field and orchard scouting to support his pecan and cotton programs. In cotton, he provides variety demonstrations and plant performance data (upland and pima), cotton root rot management, plant population demonstrations, cotton production workshops, and turn-row meetings.   In pecans, his efforts to promote IPM for pecan nut casebearer control have been very helpful to producers. He organizes a workshop for pecan IPM with emphasis on pecan nut casebearer and aphid management. Pecan aphid control demonstrations provide growers with up-to-date management information. He writes the newsletter “Issues in Agriculture” to provide advice and updates to local farmers. Dr. Vitanza supports urban pest management as well. He serves the public on pest identification and management. In addition, he conducts a pesticide applicator training which consistently attracts over 200 participants, many of whom are employees or owners of urban pest control companies. Currently, he monitors the advance of the subtropical tamarisk beetle as well as its impact on saltcedar stands and educates the community about this successful biocontrol program. He is often interviewed on local TV/radio stations on insect pest issues.

Comments are closed.