How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Cotton

Monitoring Pests in a Cotton Field

(Reviewed 5/13, updated 5/13)

In this Guideline:


Monitoring is a crucial component of all integrated pest management (IPM) programs. It helps to identify potential problems and to assess the overall field conditions. Check the field regularly for pests and natural enemies of pest species, as well as the maturity and health of the crop.

There are six major monitoring periods for a cotton crop. The presence and population development of key pests are tracked during these periods. The information in the table below outlines the monitoring periods, major pests monitored, and the methods used to monitor them. Detailed information on each pest and its monitoring method is available under the individual pest sections in this guideline.

Major Monitoring Periods, Pests Monitored, and Monitoring Methods Used in a Cotton Field.
Monitoring Period Pests Monitored Method Used
Preplant to planting weeds weed survey
Crop emergence to seedling growth spider mites, aphids, cutworms, and thrips examine cotyledons or first true leaves
false chinch bugs, stink bugs monitor nearby crops, fence rows and weedy areas
weeds weed survey
Early squaring spider mites, aphids, and whitefly examine 5th mainstem node leaf from top of plant
lygus bugs sweep sampling; square retention monitoring
weeds weed survey
Bloom to boll spider mites, aphids, and whitefly examine 5th mainstem node leaf from top of plant
lygus bugs sweep sampling; square retention monitoring
First open boll to preharvest aphids and whitefly examine 5th mainstem node leaf from top of plant
weeds weed survey
Verticillium wilt stem sampling
Harvest to postharvest nematodes weighted nematode rating

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cotton
UC ANR Publication 3444

General Information

  • L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
  • P. B. Goodell, UC IPM Program and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier
  • E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension - Desert Research and Extension Center, Imperial County
  • D.R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County and UC IPM Program
  • V. M. Barlow, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County and UC IPM Program

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