Assessment of sweep net and suction sampling for evaluating pest insect populations in hay alfalfa

A. M. Harper, B. D. Schaber, T. Entz, T. P. Story


Insect populations in alfalfa grown for hay can be sampled using several methods. However, in a pest management program a relatively easy, quick, and reliable method of sampling is essential for making effective pest control decisions. A study was conducted to determine if two different sampling methods, sweepnet sampling and suction sampling, led to similar pest control decisions. Differences between sweepnet and D-Vac insect population estimates varied over sampling dates and years and were dependent on the insect species, their developmental stages, and abiotic factors. Our results indicate that, for many sampling dates, decisions on control of some pest insects would be similar for the two sampling methods.

Keywords: Insecta; Medicago sativa; alfalfa weevil; pea aphi

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