Monitoring lepidopterous pest damage to processing tomatoes
Few quantitative procedures exist for monitoring lepidopterous pests in processing tomatoes, yet reliable, cost-efficient sampling techniques are essential for the implementation of an integrated pest management program. These sampling techniques must be of such intensity as to predict the amount of damage with a given degree of reliability, yet sufficiently time-efficient to be useful to growers or crop consultants. Without such procedures, assessing a pest's status is subjective and may result in unnecessary control actions. Reliable control decision criteria are especially important in processing tomatoes, where thresholds for damage are set by government or industry standards, and exceeding damage thresholds can result in rejection of the crop.