Luis Cañas

Associate Professor, Entomology and MPHM co-chair
B.S. in Plant Protection, Panamerican College of Agriculture
M.S. in Entomology, Biological Control, Purdue University
Ph.D in Entomology, Biological Control, Purdue University

Areas of Expertise

Biological control

IPM for ornamentals and vegetables grown in controlled environments


Plant-insect interactions

Physical ambient manipulation for insect control

Whitefly management

Research Interests

The long term goals of my lab are to understand the ecology of major insect pest groups of ornamentals and vegetables produced in controlled environments and to develop ecologically based management practices that will reduce our dependence on pesticides and have less adverse effects on the environment. With this in mind, the core objectives of my research program will be (1) to advance our understanding of ecological principles and how they are driving the population trends observed for major insect pest groups of ornamentals and vegetables produced in controlled environments and their natural enemies, (2) apply these ecological principles to develop management practices for insect pests, and (3) develop IPM solutions for ornamental and vegetables that can be applied not only in controlled environments but elsewhere. Current projects examine the effects of physical and cultural controls on life history traits of selected pests of plants grown in controlled environments. In addition, I am exploring the effect of the level of initial insect infestation on overall distribution as well as the relationship between soil health, plant defenses and insect biodemography.

Journal Articles


  • Kuniyoshi, Claudia H., Luis A. Cañas, P. Larry Phelan., 2012, "Insect Density and Nitrogen Fertilization affect the Interaction between Above-ground [Bemisia tabaci biotype b (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)] and Below-ground [Bradysia impatiens (Diptera: Sciaridae)] Herbivores of Poinsettias.." Environmental Entomology no. (Submitted),


  • Medina-Ortega, K., and Cañas, L. A., 2011, "Screening for whitefly resistance in poinsettias, Summer 2007 (M2)." Arthropod Management Tests 36,
  • England,K,M; Sadof,C,S; Canas,L,A; Kuniyoshi,C,H; Lopez,R,G, 2011, "Effects of Selected Fertilizers on the Life History of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Biotype B." JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY 104, no. 2, 548 - 554.
  • Ranger, Christopher M., Reding, Michael E., Gandhi, Kamal J. K., Oliver, Jason B., Schultz, Peter B., Cañas, Luís and Herms, Daniel A., 2011, "Species Dependent Influence of (-)-alpha-Pinene on Attraction of Ambrosia Beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) to Ethanol-Baited Traps in Nursery Agroecosystems." Journal of Economic Entomology 2, no. 104, 574 - 579.
  • England, K. M., C. S. Sadof, L. Cañas, C. Kuniyoshi, and R.L. Lopez., 2011, "Effects of selected fertilizers on the life history of Bemisia tabaci biotype B." Journal of Economic Entomology 104, no. 2, 548 - 554.
  • Medina-Ortega, K., Cañas, L. A., 2011, "Screening for whitefly resistance in poinsettias, Summer 2006 (M3)." Arthropod Management Tests 36,
  • Deol, Y. S., G. B. Jagdale, L. Canas, and P. S. Grewal, 2011, "Delivery of entomopathogenic nematodes directly through commercial growing media via the inclusion of infected host cadavers: A novel approach." Biological Control 58, no. 1, 60 - 67.


  • Michel, Andrew P., M. A. Rouf Mian, Nelson Horacio Davila-Olivas, Luis A. Cañas, 2010, "Detached Leaf and Whole Plant Assays for Soybean Aphid (Aphis glycines) Resistance: Differential Responses among Resistance Sources and Biotypes." Journal of Economic Entomology 102, no. 3, 1389 - 1392.
  • Derksen, R., Ranger, C., Canas, L., Zhu, H. and Krause, C., 2010, "Greenhouse Evaluation of Air-Assist Delivery Parameters for Mature Poinsettias." Applied Engineering in Agriculture 26, no. 6,
  • Derksen, Richard C., Christopher M. Ranger, Luis A. Cañas, Jame C. Locke, Zhu Heping, Charles R. Krause., 2010, "Evaluation of handgun and broadcast systems for spray deposition in greenhouse poinsettia canopies.." Transactions of the ASABE 53, no. 1, 5 - 12.


  • Cañas, L. A., and N. M. Acosta., 2009, "Poinsettia: Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch. 'Freedom Red.' Evaluation of Gnatrol Efficacy for Control of Fungus Gnats, 2007." Arthropod Management Tests 34, no. G38,
  • Cañas, L. A., and N. M. Acosta., 2009, "Poinsettias: Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch 'Freedom Red.' Efficacy of Selected Insecticides for Control of Whiteflies on Greenhouse Poinsettias, 2007." Arthropod Management Tests 34, no. G37,
  • Gallegos, P., C. Asaquibay, S. Garcés, F. Mayguashca, M. Freire, R. N. Williams, N. M. Acosta, and L. A. Cañas., 2009, "Potato: Solanum tuberosum L., 'INIAP-PAN.' Control of Andean Weevil with Selected Insecticides on Potatoes, 2001." Arthropod Management Tests 34, no. E50,
  • Ranger, C. M., A. P. Singh, J. M. Frantz, L. Canas, J. C. Locke, M. E. Reding, and N. Vorsa., 2009, "Influence of Silicon on Resistance of Zinnia elegans to Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae).." Environmental Entomology 38, no. 1, 129 - 136.
  • Cañas, L. A., N. M. Acosta, and J. K. Hacker., 2009, "Impatiens (New Guinea): Impatiens hawkeri Bull. 'Sonics Hot Rose.' Efficacy of Selected Miticides for Control of Twospotted Spider Mite on New Guinea Impatiens, 2007." Arthropod Management Tests 34, no. G34,
  • Cañas, L. A., and N. M. Acosta., 2009, "Geranium: Pelargonium x hortorum L. H. Bailey, 'Patriot.' Control of Citrus Mealybug with Selected Insecticides on Geraniums, 2008." Arthropod Management Tests 34, no. G32,


  • Naranjo, S. E., P. C. Ellsworth, and L. Canas, 2008, "Mortality and population dynamics of bemisia tabaci within a multi-crop system." Journal of Insect Science 8, no. 37-37,


  • Jagdale,Ganpati,B; Casey,Mildred,L; Canas,Luis; Grewal,Parwinder,S, 2007, "Effect of entomopathogenic nematode species, split application and potting medium on the control of the fungus gnat, Bradysia difformis (Diptera : Sciaridae), in the greenhouse at alternating cold and warm temperatures." BIOLOGICAL CONTROL 43, no. 1, 23 - 30.