University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
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Last updated on Monday, November 7, 2016     Make updates ->

Helen  Spafford

Name :

Helen Spafford

Title :

Assoc Prof

Unit :

Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences

Address :

3050 Maile Way Gilmore 310
                    Honolulu, HI 96822

Room :

Gilmore Hall 310B

Phone :


Fax :


E-mail :

Specialties :

As an applied entomologist I am interested in the beneficial uses of our knowledge about insect biology, behavior and ecology for improved food production, human welfare, and conservation of natural systems.

Professional Prep/Appointments :

Ph.D. Biology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 2000
MS Zoology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 1993
BSc Zoology Composite Teaching, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 1989

Projects :

Monitoring and management of fruit flies: a systems approach
Pre-release and post-release monitoring of biological control for melastome weeds in Hawaii
Mosquito distribution and management in Hawaii

Courses Taught:

Fall Semester
General Entomology (PEPS 363)
General Entomology Laboratory (PEPS 363L)
World of Insects (PEPS 250) 
Capstone (PEPS 495)

Spring Semester
Foundations of Pest Management (PEPS 421)
Biological Control of Weeds (PEPS 676)
Capstone (PEPS 495)
Additional Courses
Entomology Seminar
Special Topics (Extension education and outreach)

Research Interests :

Biological control of weeds and insect pests
Integrated Pest Management
Indirect effects of insecticides on non-target insects
Insect behavior
Improving science education 

Recent Publications :

Minkey, D. M. and Spafford, H. 2016. The fate of weed seeds removed by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) a cropping area of Western Australia. Environmental Entomology DOI:

Leiner R. and Spafford, H. 2016. Pickleworm (Diaphania nitidalis Cramer) neonate feeding preferences, movement and the implications for a push-pull management system. Insects 7(3): 32; DOI: 10.3390/insects7030032

Spafford, H., Ching, A., Manley, M., Hardin, C., and Bittenbender, H. 2016. Management of Chinese rose beetle (Adoretus sinicus) adults feeding on cacao (Theobroma cacao) using insecticides. Insects 7(2): 28; DOI: 10.3390/insects7020028

Leiner, RC and Spafford, H. 2016. Oviposition preferences of pickleworm (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in relation to a potential push-pull cropping management approach. Environmental Entomology 45 (3): 677-684 DOI:

Vargas, R.I, Souder, S.K, Borges, R., Godoy, M.J. Mafra-Neto, A., Mackey, B., Chou, M-Y, and Spafford, H. 2014. Effectiveness of a sprayable male annihilation treatment with a bioinsecticide against fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) attacking tropical fruits. Biopesticides International 10(1): 1-10.

Macfadyen, S., Hardie, D., Fagan, L., Stefanova, K., Perry, K., DeGraaf, H., Holloway, J., Spafford, H. and Umina, P. 2014. Reducing insecticide use in broad-acre grains production: an Australian study. PLOS ONE 9(2): e89118. doi: 10.1371/journal/pone.0089119

Rahman, T., Broughton, S., Spafford, H.  2012 Can spinosad-resistant Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)
(Thysanoptera: Thripidae) be managed with spinosad and predatory mites (Acari)? Crop Protection 42: 281-28
Rahman, T., Spafford, H. and Broughton, S. 2012. Use of Spinosad and Predatory Mites (Acari) for theManagement of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)(Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Low-Tunnel Grown Strawberry Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 142: 258-270
Turner, P., Scott, J.K. and Spafford, H.  2011. Available soil phosphorus: a precursor to weed invasion and a barrier to the recovery of invaded ecological communities?  Invasive Plant Science and Management 4:212-222.
Rahman, T., Spafford, H. and Broughton, S. 2011. Compatibility of spinosad with predaceous mites (Acari) used to control Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) Pest Management Science 67: 993-1003.
Rahman, T., Spafford, H. and Broughton, S. 2011. Single versus multiple releases of predatory mites (Acari) combined with spinosad for the management of western flower thrips (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in strawberry Crop Protection 30: 468-475.
Rahman, T., Broughton, S. and  Spafford, H. 2011. Effect of spinosad and predatory mites on control of Frankliniella occidentalis in three strawberry cultivars  Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 138(2):154-161.
Rahman, T., Spafford, H. and Broughton, S. 2010. Variation in preference and performance of Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on three strawberry cultivars  Journal of Economic Entomology 103(5): 1744-1753.
Carver, S., Spafford, H., Storey, A. and Weinstein, P.  2010. The roles of predators, competitors, and secondary salinisation in structuring mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae): assemblages in ephemeral water bodies of the wheatbelt of Western Australia. Environmental Entomology 39(3):798:910.
Voss, SC, Spafford H. and Dadour IR. 2010. Temperature-dependant development of Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), on five forensically important carrion fly species. Medical and Veterinary Entomology  24:189-198.
Voss, SC, Spafford H. and Dadour IR. 2010Temperature-dependant development of Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), on five forensically important carrion fly species.  Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 135(1): 37-47.
Carver, S., Spafford, H., Storey, A. and Weinstein, P.  2009. Colonisation of ephemeral water bodies in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia by assemblages of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae): role of environmental factors, habitat and disturbance. Environmental Entomology  38:1585-1594
Carver, S., Spafford, H., Storey, A. and Weinstein, P.  2009. Dryland salinity and the ecology of Ross River virus: the ecological underpinnings of the potential for transmission.  Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 9:611-622
Voss, SC, Spafford H. and Dadour IR. 2009 Annual and seasonal patterns of insect succession on decomposing remains at two habitats in Western Australia.  Forensic Science International. 193(1): 26-36.
van Schie, C., Spafford, H., Carver, S., and Weinstein, P. 2009. The salinity tolerance of Aedes camptorhynchus (Diptera: Culicidae) from two regions in southwest Western Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology  48(4):293-299.
Voss, SC, Spafford H. and Dadour IR.  2009.  Hymenopteran parasitoids of forensic importance in Western Australia: host associations, seasonality and prevalence of parasitoids of carrion flies. Journal of Medical Entomology 46(5): 1210-1219.
Voss, S.C., Spafford H. and Dadour I.R. 2009. Host location and behavioural response patterns of the parasitoid, Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Hymenotpera: Encyrtidae), to host and host-habitat odours. Ecological Entomology 34: 204-213
Carver, S., Storey, A., Spafford, H., Lynas, J., Chandler, L., and Weinstein, P. 2009. Salinity as a driver of aquatic invertebrate colonization behaviour and distribution in the wheatbelt of Western Australia.  Hydrobiologia 617(1):75-90.
Furlong, M.J., Spafford, H., Ridland, P.M., Endersby, N.M., Edwards, O., Baker, G.J., Keller, M.A. and Paull, C.  2008. Ecology of diamondback moth in Australian canola: a landscape perspective and implications for management. Invited Paper for Special Issue of Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 48:1494-1505.
Turner, P., Scott, J.K. and Spafford, H.  2008. The ecological barriers to the recovery of bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides (L.) Druce) infested sites: Impacts on vegetation and the potential increase in other exotic species.  Austral Ecology 33(6):713- 722.

Grice, A.C., Clarkson, J. and Spafford, H. 2008. Addressing the challenges of commercial weeds. Plant Protection Quarterly 23(2):58-64.