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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Systematic monitoring of pest populations, weather conditions, plant health and disease symptoms are critical components of an IPM program.

Tools needed to monitor pests

  • a 16-20x hand lens
  • traps (pheromone traps and yellow sticky cards with bait)
  • disposable gloves and dedicated forceps for changing pheromone lures
  • collection bags (paper and plastic) and vials
  • field maps
  • flagging tape
  • shovel or sturdy trowel
  • pocket knife
  • scouting forms and record sheets
  • weather loggers
  • resources such as OMAFRA Publication 360, Fruit Production Recommendations

Monitoring strategies

  • Review pest control calendars to know when certain pests will be active.
  • Learn to identify life stages and damage caused by diseases and pests.
  • Understand the biology and life cycle of pests and diseases.
  • Recognize beneficial insects, as well as harmless insects.
  • Use historical data to identify hot spots and previous problems.
  • Keep a field map and record the location of damage.
  • For each visit, record the stage of crop development, disease severity, population levels of insect pests and beneficials, and damage observed.
  • Keep a journal or log of rainfall amounts, daily highs and low temperatures, and weather events.
  • Keep a record of pesticides applied and other control measures used.

Monitoring procedures

  • Monitor at least once a week and preferable twice a week during critical stages.
  • Monitor at approximately the same time each day and keep the light behind you.
  • Inspect plants in several areas across the field to get an accurate idea of pest pressure.
  • Stand back and look for patterns, such as patches or areas of poor plant growth or where colour is off.
  • Get close and examine fruits, the top and underside of leaves and inside the canopy, etc.
  • Scout the edges of the field and interior of the field separately.
    Give special attention to border areas.

Sample collection involves the collection of data to represent the entire area being monitored.

  • Divide large areas into sample blocks.
  • Collect samples from a representative area (same cultivar, age and rootstock).
  • Look away from the plant when you take samples of leaves and fruit, etc., otherwise you will tend to choose damage leaves or fruit and bias the sample.
  • If you collect leaves for disease diagnosis, press them between two sheets of paper in a book. Leaves left loose in a vehicle will dry very quickly, especially in the summer sun.

Techniques used in Monitoring pests

Trapping: There are many types of insect monitoring traps. For tender fruit pheromone traps and visual traps are used. Traps provide information on insect numbers and activity. They can be used to validate degree day models, which predict insect life stage and also to optimize management techniques and assess mating disruption for grape berry moth.

Visual observation: Visual observations provide information on the presence and absence of pest and beneficials as well as the damage they cause. When scouting tender fruit monitor buds, leaves and shoots for the presence and damage diseases, insects, mites and beneficial insects. Conduct random assessments in border areas or those with a history of insect problems to detect damage and presence. Observe trees throughout for diseases such as brown rot, and insects such as Oriental fruit moth. Consult the scouting guide for infomation on when and how to scout for various pests.