A 2-yr field study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of two sampling methods (visual and plant washing techniques) for western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), and five sampling methods (visual, beat bucket, drop cloth, sweep net, and vacuum) for cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter), in Texas cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.), and to develop sequential sampling plans for each pest. The plant washing technique gave similar results to the visual method in detecting adult thrips, but the washing technique detected significantly higher number of thrips larvae compared with the visual sampling. Visual sampling detected the highest number of fleahoppers followed by beat bucket, drop cloth, vacuum, and sweep net sampling, with no significant difference in catch efficiency between vacuum and sweep net methods. However, based on fixed precision cost reliability, the sweep net sampling was the most cost-effective method followed by vacuum, beat bucket, drop cloth, and visual sampling. Taylor’s Power Law analysis revealed that the field dispersion patterns of both thrips and fleahoppers were aggregated throughout the crop growing season. For thrips management decision based on visual sampling (0.25 precision), 15 plants were estimated to be the minimum sample size when the estimated population density was one thrips per plant, whereas the minimum sample size was nine plants when thrips density approached 10 thrips per plant. The minimum visual sample size for cotton fleahoppers was 16 plants when the density was one fleahopper per plant, but the sample size decreased rapidly with an increase in fleahopper density, requiring only four plants to be sampled when the density was 10 fleahoppers per plant. Sequential sampling plans were developed and validated with independent data for both thrips and cotton fleahoppers.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2