Bug Scout 1981
Determining Economic Threshold
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
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It's a lot easier than trying to decide which company I should advertise.
May 16, 1981

It's easy to be uncertain when it comes to making a pest management decision.  Whether pest control action is needed is based on "economic thresholds."  The economic threshold is that pest population level at which the cost of control will be less than the value of crop damage.  It will pay to control the pest when it exceeds the economic threshold.

The economic threshold varies according to cost of control, value of crop, stage of insect, and stage of crop growth.  For instance, an insect that should be controlled when the crop is small may not cause enough damage to justify treatment when the crop is mature.

Remember, using a pesticide does not increase crop yields!  Using a pesticide can prevent crop losses, but only when the pest exceeds the economic threshold.  This year don't be "undecided" about the value of pest control on your crops.  Use economic thresholds as the guide for treatments.  You'll be money ahead if you do.    

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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