Larry Gut

Larry Gut
Telephone: 517-353-8648

Department of Entomology

Center for Integrated Plant Systems
578 Wilson Rd. Room 106
East Lansing, MI 48824

Tree Fruit Entomology


Overall, my research program has contributed to a foundation that has allowed the tree fruit industries in Michigan, as well as nationally and internationally, to respond to changes in the availability and efficacy of insecticides in a proactive manner. A substantial portion of my research focuses on reducing reliance on the broad-spectrum insecticides. I have focused special attention on a novel method of control that is commonly referred to as mating disruption. Research conducted with my colleague, Dr. James Miller, has contributed to a greater understanding of the mechanisms by which mating disruption is achieved. A majority of Michigan’s apple, cherry and peach growers now rely on reduced-risk controls for managing arthropod pests. The MI apple acreage treated with mating disruption for codling moth control has risen from 2% to 40% in the past 10 years. Moreover, worldwide reliance on mating disruption for managing codling moth has expanded by 83% in the past 10 years, with over 500,000 acres treated with this environmentally sound tactic. I have actively researched chemical attractants for several insect species in an effort to develop monitoring systems or new controls.

The ability to accurately measure and predict pest activity is fundamental to the successful implementation of IPM.

Current assignment: Teaching 10% | Research 25% | Extension 65%

Program Description


I do not hold a credit-base instructional assignment, thus my teaching effort focuses on graduate student education, but includes involvement in IPM workshops, guest lecturing, mentoring post-doctoral research associates and advising undergraduate students. During my career I have advised 8 MS and 4 PhD students to completion of their degree.


As Michigan’s Extension Specialist in Tree Fruit Entomology, I am responsible for developing the technology and knowledge base to support the promotion and adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in apple, cherry, peach, pear and plum. The overall aim of my program is to conduct fundamental and applied research that leads to the development of ecologically and economically sound pest management programs. To achieve this, I have obtained the funding and resources necessary to establish a short-and long-term applied research program, while also building a solid basic research program centered on the use of pheromones and other behavior-modifying chemicals for insect control. Most recently, I have focused considerable attention on the biology and management of two invasive pests, spotted wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug. I have a robust insecticide evaluation program funded through grants from private companies and competitive grants awarded by apple and cherry commodity groups. The majority of my research on chemical control of fruit pests is working with selective insecticide chemistries to determine how they might fit into apple, cherry or peach IPM programs. I have developed a strong on-farm component to complement other aspects of the insecticide research program at MSU.


The aim of my extension program is to educate growers, scouts, consultants and others involved in the tree fruit industries in IPM practices, including pest and natural enemy ecology, scouting, decision-making, selecting appropriate control tactics and resistance management. I employ a team approach, working with Extension colleagues across a number of disciplines to deliver information to the fruit industries. Findings and recommendations are published in a timely manner in the MSU Pest Management Guide (E-154), MSUE News articles, and MSU IPM and Fruit websites, and presented to grower and industry groups at the major Michigan grower meetings.

Professional Experience

  • 2005-Present - Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 2001-2005 - Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1997-2001 - Assistant Professor, Dept of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1992-1997 - Instructor, Department of Horticulture, Wenatchee Valley College
  • 1990-1997 - Research Coordinator, Department of Entomology, Washington State University
  • 1988-1990 - Research Associate, Department of Horticulture, University of Illinois
  • 1986-1988 - Research Associate, Department of Entomology, Washington State University

Selected Publications

  • Adams, C. G., J. H. Schenker, P. S. McGhee, L. J. Gut, J. Brunner, and J. R. Miller. 2017. Maximizing Information Yield from Pheromone-Baited Monitoring Traps: Estimating Plume Reach, Trapping Radius, and Absolute Density of Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella) in Michigan Apple. J. Econ. Entomol. doi: 10.1093/jee/tow258
  • McGhee, P.S., J.R. Miller, D.R. Thomson and L.J. Gut. 2016. Optimizing aerosol emitters for mating disruption of codling moth, Cydia pomonella L. J. Chem. Ecol. 42:612-616.
  • Kirkpatrick, D.M., P.S. McGhee, S.L. Hermann, L.J. Gut and J.R. Miller. 2016. Alightment of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) on odorless disks varying in color. Environ. Entomol. 45:185-191.
  • Miller, J.R. and L.J. Gut. 2015. Mating disruption for the 21st century: Matching technology with mechanisms. Environ. Entomol. 43: Accepted.
  • Huang, J., L.J. Gut., and M. Grieshop. 2015. Development of a new attract-and-kill technology for Oriental fruit moth control using insecticide-impregnated fabric. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 154:102-109. IF = 1.7.
  • McGhee, P.S., L.J. Gut and J.R. Miller. 2014. Aerosol emitters disrupt codling moth, Cydia pomonella, competitively. Pest Manag. Sci. 70:1859-1862. IF = 2.7.
  • Smith, J.J., T.H.Q. Powell, L. Teixeira, W.O. Armstrong, R.J. McClowry, R. Isaacs, G.R. Hood, J.L. Feder and L.J. Gut. 2014. Genetic structure of cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis cingulata) populations across managed, unmanaged, and natural habitats. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 150:157-165. IF = 1.7.
  • Reinke, M.D., P. Y. Siegert, P.S. McGhee, L.J. Gut and J.R. Miller. 2014. Pheromone release rate determines whether sexual communication of Oriental fruit moth is disrupted by competitive or non-competitive mechanisms. Entomol. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applica 150:1-6. IF =1.7.
  • Huang, J., L.J. Gut and J.M. Miller. 2013. Separating the attractant from the toxicant improves attractand- kill of codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 106:2144-2150.
  • Lee J.C, P.W. Shearer, L.D. Barrantes, E.H. Beers, H.J. Burrack, D.T. Dalton, A.J. Dreves, L. J. Gut, et al. 2013. Trap designs for monitoring Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Environ. Entomol. 42:1348-1355.
  • Huang, J., L.J. Gut and J.M. Miller. 2013. Codling moth, Cydia pomonella, captures in monitoring traps as influenced by proximity to competing female-like vs. high-releasing pheromone point sources. J. Insect Behav. 26:660-666.
  • Stelinski, L.L., L.J. Gut and J. Miller. 2013. An attempt to increase efficacy of moth mating disruption by co-releasing pheromones with kairomones and to understand possible underlying mechanisms of this technique. Environ. Entomol. 42:158-166.
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