The use of a standardized beat sampling method for estimating spruce spider mite, Oligonychus ununguis (Jacobi) (Acari: Tetranychidae), densities on a widely used evergreen ornamental plant species, Juniperus chinensis variety ‘Sargentii’ A. Henry (Cupressaceae), was examined. There was a significant positive relationship between total spruce spider mite densities and spider mite densities from beat sampling on juniper. The slope and intercept of the relationship may be used by pest managers to predict total spider mite densities on plants from beat sample counts. Beat sampling dramatically underestimates the total number of spider mites on a foliage sample. The relationships between spruce spider mite feeding injury and spider mite density estimates from beat sampling juniper foliage and total spider mite counts on foliage were also examined. There was a significant positive relationship between spruce spider mite density as estimated from beat sampling and injury to the plants. There was a similar positive relationship between the total number of spruce spider mites and injury to the plants, suggesting that a pest manager could use beat sampling counts to estimate plant injury and related thresholds. These findings have important implications to decision-making for spruce spider mite control, especially as it relates to threshold levels and determining rates of predator releases. Further assessment of the effectiveness of beat and other sampling methods across multiple spider mite–host plant associations needs to be examined to enable pest managers to select sampling plans that are feasible and reliable.
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Vol. 97 • No. 4