Cotton Field Day 9-2008 : Preliminary evaluation of absolute sampling methods for Lygus


Justification and Problem Statement
The western tarnished plant bug is a key pest of cotton in western arid production regions. Populations of lygus bugs are difficult to monitor because adults are active fliers, and nymphs inhabit cryptic habitats and move rapidly when disturbed. Management decisions are complicated by these difficulties. Because the principal management tactic for lygus bugs is chemical pesticides, treatment decisions based on inaccurate sampling data may result in either unnecessary crop loss, or unneeded pesticide applications that my contaminate the environment and induce secondary pests. Considerable effort has been devoted in cotton production regions of the West and Mid-South to evaluate and improve sampling methodology for lygus bugs. However, in recent efforts the criteria for the selection of sampling methods have focused on maximum numbers of bugs collected or apparent precision of population estimates without consideration for the fidelity of those estimates to actual bug populations. Development of efficient and practical absolute or near-absolute sampling methods for one or more stage of lygus would allow more meaningful evaluation and perhaps calibration…


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