Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), cause serious economic damage to nectarines in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, British Columbia, Canada. We evaluated several sampling methods for western flower thrips for their precision and ability to predict general population trends. Beating of branches, flicking of buds, and visual estimation methods were not accurate for estimating numbers of thrips in nectarine buds. Thrips caught on sticky cards indicated general population trends, but were less efficient than collecting nectarine buds and counting thrips. Searching for thrips from buds in the field underestimated the density of both adults and larvae, and for adults, underestimated the proportion of the pale morph of western flower thrips. Dispersion patterns of thrips populations among orchards were either random or aggregated dependent on the development stage of the nectarine buds.
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Vol. 93 • No. 2