Eric Benson

Extension Entomologist
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Public Service Activities

Office: 266 P & AS Building
Phone: 864-656-7860


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Entomology
Clemson University 1988

M.S. Biology
Fairleigh Dickinson University 1984

B.S. Animal Science
University of Vermont 1979

 Courses Taught

Insect Biology and Diversity - ENT/BIOL 3010/3011
Urban Entomology - ENT 4040/6040


Dr. Benson received his BS degree in animal science from the University of Vermont in 1979 and his MS degree in biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1984 and his PhD in entomology from Clemson in 1988. He has worked in research and development for Ciba-Geigy (Syngenta) in Switzerland and Dow Chemical. After working as an Extension Entomologist at Auburn University he returned to Clemson in 1997. He has responsibilities for research and education programs concerning household and structural pests in South Carolina. For 14 years he could be heard on the SC Educational Radio Show, Your Day, answering call-in questions about bugs. Current appointment: Cooperative Extension Service: 100%.

 Research Interests

Investigate integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for urban pests in including ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, flies, and termites. Served as an international member on USAID/IPM project developing strategies for insect pests on vegetables and coffee in Southeast Asia. Currently Professor Emeritus, but working part-time for Clemson Extension.

 Extension and Outreach

Responsible for structural pest management education programs in South Carolina, with a focus on bed bug, cockroach, ant and termite control.


Selected Publications:

Buyukyavuz, E. Benson, J. Song, B. Ellis, I. Han and P. Dawson. 2018. Escherichia coli Transfer to Food by Fruit Flies during Short Time Exposure. J. of Food Sci. 7(4): 131-140.

Hinson KR, Reukov V, Benson EP, Zungoli PA, Bridges WC, et al. (2017) Climbing ability of teneral and sclerotized adult bed bugs and assessment of adhesive properties of the exoskeletal fluid using atomic force microscopy. PLOS ONE 12(12): e0189215.

Hinson, K.R., E.P. Benson, P.A. Zungoli, W.C. Bridges Jr., B.R. Ellis. 2017. Assessment of Contact and Residual Efficacy of Natural-Based and Commercial Products for Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Control. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 90(3): 252-261.

Hinson, K.R., E.P. Benson,P.A. Zungoli, W.C. Bridges, Jr., and B.R. Ellis. 2016. Egg hatch rate and nymphal survival of the bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) after exposure to insecticide sprays. J. Econ. Entomol. 109(6): 2495-2499.

Song, J., E.P. Benson, P.A. Zungoli, P. Gerard and S.W. Scott. 2015. Using the DAS-ELISA test to establish and effective distance between bait stations for control of Linepithema humile in natural areas. J. Econ. Entomol. 108(4): 1961-1971.

Watson, G.W., R. Muniappan, B.M. Shepard, D.J. Sembel, A. Rauf, G.R. Carner and E.P. Benson. 2014. Sap-sucking insect records (Hemiptera:Sternorrhyncha and Thysanoptera: Thripidae) from Indonesia. Florida Entomol. 97(4): 1594-1597.

Hinson, K.R., E.P. Benson, P.A. Zungoli, W.C. Bridges and B.R. Ellis. 2014. Assessment of natural-based products for bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) control. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Urban Pests. Pp. 97-101.

Zungoli, P.A., E.P. Benson, Y. Mo and B.R. Ellis. 2014. Challenges for successful management of Pachycondyla chinensis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Urban Pests. Pp. 259-263.

Benson, E.P., K.R. Hinson, B.R. Ellis and P.A. Zungoli. 2014. Impact of insecticide spray on non-target terrestrial arthropods while treating for Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Urban Pests. Pp. 433-434.

Seiter, N.J., E.P Benson, F.P.F. Reay-Jones, J.K. Greene and P.A. Zungoli. 2013. Residual efficacy of insecticides applied to exterior building material surfaces for control of nuisance infestations of Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 106(6): 2448-2456.

Lehnert, M. P., E. P. Benson, P. A. Zungoli and P. D. Gerard. 2012. Assessment of bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) prevalence, control strategies, and challenges facing pest management professionals in South Carolina. J. Agric. and Urban Entomol. 28(1): 16-24.

Beasley, D.E., E.P. Benson, S.M. Welch, L.S. Reid and T.A. Mousseau. 2012. The use of citizen scientists to record and map 13-year periodical cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada) in South Carolina. Fl. Entomol. 95(2): 486-488.

Ellis, B. R., E.P. Benson, P. A. Zungoli and W. C. Bridges. 2010. Evaluation of chemical control strategies for Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in South Carolina state park campgrounds. J. Agric. Urban Entomol. 25(4), pp. 223-232.

Benson, E. P. and P. A. Zungoli. 2008. University-Based Instruction for General Pest Control Technicians. Proceeding of the International Conference on Urban Pests. Pgs. 254 –258.

Zungoli, P.A. and E.P. Benson. 2008. Seasonal Occurrence of Swarming Activity and Worker abundance of Pachycondyla chinensis. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Urban Pests. Pgs. 51-57.


E. Benson HGIC Fact Sheet and Blog Posts
Benson's Bug Bites