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Entomologist Louis Riehl dies at 92

Noted UCR Entomologist Louis Riehl Dies at 92

(September 21, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Louis A. Riehl, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, credited with developing spray oil insecticides for pest management in citrus, poultry and livestock, died Sunday, Sept. 4.

Riehl was known for having integrated natural and chemical strategies for pest control that have less impact on the environment and pose no threat to workers. His programs were utilized by citrus growers and farmers throughout the world.

Born in Le Grand, Calif., in 1913, Riehl grew up in Orange County, Calif. He earned his doctorate in entomology at Iowa State University in 1942. Five years later, he joined UCR, where he worked in the Citrus Experiment Station, Division of Economic Entomology, serving as head of the division from 1975 until 1979. He also was the first chair of UCR’s program in pest management leading to a master’s degree. In 1981, after 34 years of service, Riehl retired. A member of the Entomological Society of America, the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Testing Materials, he authored 121 scientific publications and co-authored two books during his career.

Before coming to UCR, Riehl won the Bronze Star and the Gambia Eradication Medal, as well as an appointment to the Order of the Nile, Chevalier, from King Farouk I of Egypt, for his service during World War II as an entomologist in the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation and a consultant on insect-borne diseases to the Surgeon General’s Office of the U.S. Army. His group of scientists provided the method of delousing that was used to control a typhus epidemic in Naples, Italy — the first time in recorded history that a typhus epidemic was halted before infecting an entire population.

Riehl is survived by his longtime companion, Eileen Vincent; his two daughters, Janet Peterson of Anaheim, Calif., and Marcia Scott of Richmond, Calif.; sons-in-law Dwight Peterson and Robert Scott; three grandchildren, Brian Peterson, Andrea Shedwill, and Ezekiel Sanborn; and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m., Sept. 24, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 3847 Terracina Dr., Riverside, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the Riehl family asks that memorial donations be directed to the UC Riverside Foundation. Checks can be made payable to the UCR Foundation with a notation in the memo field “in memory of Dr. Louis Riehl.” All donations will be used to support graduate students in the Department of Entomology at UCR.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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