Insect monitoring – interesting, but also very complex
How to start insect monitoring
Insect monitoring depends on several variables and is not necessarily the same for the whole field/vineyard/orchard. This makes insect monitoring an interesting, but also a very complex topic.
Knowing the pest history as well as the conditions in the infested area assists in predicting the insect occurrence and pressure, but nevertheless, field scouting with regular inspections of the crop is obligatory.
THE AIM OF INSECT MONITORING
The aim of insect population monitoring is to:
- detect infestation early
- determine the distribution of the pest insect
- reduce feeding damage on time
- apply the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) rules by observing pest pressure (thresholds) and taking the best preventive measures
1. Early detection of infestation
Daily monitoring of the crop, especially at the beginning of pest flight season, enables timely action and prevention of further damage and potential yield loss.
2. Distribution of the pest insect
Does the insect occur in isolated patches, mainly on the field borders or is it widely distributed? This information helps define the area where the first action should take place.
3. Reduce feeding damage on time
Daily monitoring data gives a better insight into what is happening in the field. We follow the population dynamics in combination with the applied insect economic threshold, as well as environmental conditions (degree days, biofix), which helps define the optimal time for insecticide spraying.
4. Application of the IPM rules by observing pest pressure (thresholds) and documentation on one platform
Before taking any pest control action, Integrated Pest Management defines an economic action threshold, a point at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken.
Monitoring of pest insects, their identification and application of action thresholds support the use of pesticides only when really needed.
Documentation of all that data means gaining knowledge, which helps reduce damage to the environment and reduce costs.
Scouting from home?
It feels good to go in the field to see your plant growing and touch the plants, but especially on fields, too far away for daily travelling or in labour-intensive periods, we take advantage of modern technology for remotely checking on the health of the plants.
Electronic traps equipped with cameras cannot fully automate the monitoring process, but they enable more consistent and regular inspections, and help predict the optimal timing for pesticide application while also eliminating unnecessary trips to the field.