Household and Structural Urban Entomology encompasses the many insect pest problems in and around structures used by people. The term urban does not imply these insect pest problems are only found in cities. Urban entomology potentially impacts all citizens of the state and their quality of life. Pest problems associated with humans occur wherever people live, work or play. Research and extension activities in this area of entomology involves cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, carpenter ants, fire ants, stored product pests, ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, filth flies, wood destroying insects such as termites, and most other pest problems that are generally considered non-agricultural.
The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites in the United State causes over $5 billion in property damage annually. Cockroaches can spread 33 different kinds of bacteria and their dropping or decomposing bodies can trigger allergic and asthma symptoms, especially in children. Encounters with stinging insects send over a half million people to emergency rooms each year and 1 in 5 Americans has had a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs. In South Carolina there are 970 licensed pest control businesses that in turn provide services for many of the over 4.8 million residents of the state. Revenues for the pest management industry in SC are estimated at approximately $450 million annually.
Clemson University is responding to the needs of our state's population through research and teaching in urban entomology, especially training program for pest management professional. Our urban entomology lab collaborates with other university and industry scientists throughout the Southeast in seeking answers to solve current and evolving problems in urban entomology for all South Carolinians.