Monitoring of pest populations – an important element of integrated pest management of field crops

V. Arnaudov, S. Raykov, R. Davidova, H. Hristov, V. Vasilev, P. Petkov

Abstract. The population dynamics of several economically important field crop pests and some specialized pests in sugar beet on chernozem soil in the Northeast of Bulgaria (Shumen Region) was studied in the period 2009–2010. Insect survey was carried out to establish the population density of pests in wheat fields (as a preceding crop) and in sugar beet crops. Pest density ranged from 1.7 to 5.8 larvae/m2 for Elateridae family, from 0.2 to 3.6 larvae/m2 for Scarabaeidae, from 0.4 to 7.2 beetles/m2 for Bothynoderes punctiventris Germ., from 0.1 to 21.5 caterpillars/m2 for Mamestra spp. and from 0.1 to 5.7 caterpillars per plant for Gnorimoschema ocellatella Boyd, respectively. The observations of the population dynamics of pests provides the opportunity to implement efficient and economically viable control of field crop pests and allows the long-term and short-term forecasting of their likely occurrence, which is an important part of integrated pest management.