Professor, Dept. of Entomology Michigan State University
Phone:517-355-3385

Dr. Smitley works closely with the turfgrass, nursery and floriculture industries on identifying  insect pest problems, and researching best management practices to address them. Basic and applied research is followed with extension recommendations for growers. In 1991, Dr. Smitley worked with Dr. Bauer to introduce Entomophaga maimaiga, a natural fungal pathogen of gypsy moth, into Michigan. Emaimaiga is now widespread throughout the state and forest defoliation due to gypsy is less than 1/10th of what it was in the early 1990’s. From 2003 to 2010, cooperative research between the Smitley lab and industry led to the development of new management strategies for emerald ash borer, including a product that homeowners can purchase at the garden center, and the most widely used professional product for landscape trees: trunk injection with emamectin benzoate (TREEäge). Dr. Smitley introduced Ovavesicula popilliae, a natural pathogen of Japanese beetle, into Michigan in 1999 to help suppress populations of Japanese beetle. After 17 years, populations of Japanese beetle have declined in southern Michigan.  In the last four years the Smitley lab has worked with the greenhouse and nursery industries to develop best management strategies for growing annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs that will be safe for pollinators. This led to organizing a national conference on ‘Protecting Pollinators in Urban and Rural Habitats’ and a regional extension bulletin: Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes, MSU Extension Bulletin E3314, available at:  bit.ly/IPMpollinators.