Bug Scout 1980
Base Control on Economic Injury Level
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
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February 16, 1980

Pest management decisions are based on economic injury levels.  The economic injury level is the number of pests needed to cause a loss in yield equal in value to the cost of control.  Pest management specialists recommend control action when the economic injury level is reached.

The economic injury level is not constant.  For instance, fewer pests are required to create an economic loss as the value of the crop increases.  On the other hand, more pests would be required to reach the economic injury level as the cost of control increases.  In addition, the number of pests required to cause economic damage changes as the plant grows and matures.

The economic injury level is just a way to indicate whether or not a pest control treatment will make money.  Making money is the primary objective of crop producers, and pest management tactics can help.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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