The development of cost-effective and reliable sampling programs for the management of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), on greenhouse cucumbers is important for getting growers to adopt economic injury levels and economic thresholds. The objectives of this study were to develop two sequential sampling plans. A fixed-precision sequential sampling plan was designed for estimating F. occidentalis adult density at a fixed-precision level on cucumber flowers. Also, a sequential sampling plan for classifying thrips population levels as below or above economic thresholds was developed to assist in decision making for the timing of pesticide applications. Both sequential sampling plans were validated using a resampling simulation technique on nine independent data sets ranging in density from 1.25 to 12.95 adults per flower. With the fixed-precision sampling plan, average means obtained in 100 repeated simulation runs were within the 95% CI of the estimated mean for all data sets. Appropriate levels of precision for the different population densities were recommended based on the simulation results. With sequential sampling for classifying the population levels of thrips in terms of an economic threshold, it has the advantage of requiring smaller sample sizes to determine the population status when the population densities differ greatly from the critical density (i.e., economic threshold). However, this plan needs a great number of samples when population density is close to the critical density. In this case, use of a combination of both sampling plans is recommended.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2