Mississippi State University Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology

“Principles & Procedures for Rearing Quality Insects”


In 2000, the Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University (MSU) initiated formal education for those who rear insects under laboratory conditions. The idea of such formal education was conceived by USDA/ARS and MSU researchers who had spent many years rearing insects professionally. Not only did they recognize a need for insect rearing education in this country; but based on their extensive international travels, they recognized a global need for such education. Thus, an intensive five-day workshop titled “Principles and Procedures for Rearing Quality Insects” designed to cover all the important areas of laboratory rearing was born.

The first Insect Rearing Workshop was held fall 2000. Attendance was limited to 24 students primarily to allow “hands-on” laboratories as part of the educational experience. Because the demand for the workshop was so great, we scheduled a second workshop that same fall! We completed our 9th workshop in October 2006.


Please visit www.msstate.edu/Entomology/resources/Rearingwksp.html for details of planned workshops.

Contact Information

For further information, contact Frank Davis, Insect Rearing Workshop Coordinator, by e-mail (fdavis@entomology.msstate.edu) or by phone [(662) 325-2983].

Letter of Reference

To Dr. Frank Davis

I’m sorry for not providing feed back to you sooner regarding the benefit of your workshop to our rearing program.  I just want to let you know that your workshop provided the cornerstone for us to rebuild our insect rearing program after crashes of multiple colonies between in 2001 and 2002 due to a microsporidian infection.  Our rearing facility has been producing insects since 1963 and included two research positions to develop artificial diets and to improve rearing methods.  The 1990’s were a period of downsizing where we lost these positions, along with our capability to monitor colonies for pathogens.  We shifted from an exploration and development mode to maintenance of the status quo.  After the crash of our colonies, I was put in charge of the facility and with the guidance of your workshop I was able to change our mentality from “why fix it if in ain’t broke” (which ultimately lead to the crash) to “can we do better”.  Both John Dedes and myself are relatively new to insect mass production technology, but with the information that we gained at your workshop our facility is doing phenomenally better and I know that we’re on the track to becoming a world leader using the highest possible QA/QC standards and developing new rearing technologies.

Peter Ebling 
Insect Production Services
Great Lakes Forestry Centre
1219 Queen St. E.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 2E5