Pest monitoring pilot and landscape dynamics assessment

Monitoring and identifying insect and spider communities within forage crop fields and adjacent areas is increasingly important. Climate change and changing weather patterns have altered the usual geographic ranges of pest species and the timing of insect activity, such as natural enemies of pests, and plant emergence. The aim of this project was to identify insect and spider species in forage crops in central British Columbia so previously established and new integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and tactics and new can be used and developed to enhance crop productivity and ecosystem health.

Fourteen forage fields with perennial forage crops – including alfalfa, grasses, and clover – were selected between Dunster and Telkwa. Over 600 hundred samples were collected in 2022 using pitfall traps and sweep net collections. Over 200 spider web samples were collected during the same period to determine if environmental DNA (eDNA) can be extracted from spider webs to assess arthropod food webs in regional agroecosystems.

Early results indicate that insect and spider diversity is higher on forest-field interfaces and in adjacent forested areas compared to the crop fields. This is also reflected in the plant diversity at each site. Pests collected in 2022 included, but were not limited to: leafhoppers, click beetles (wireworms), leaf miner flies, and aphids. Few grasshoppers were collected or observed. Grasshoppers have generally been considered one of the primary pest species in forage fields and a second collection in summer 2023 will be required to determine whether or not 2022 represents normal current populations or if there were external factors that decreased grasshopper populations in 2022.


First Year Summary – Agricultural Pest Monitoring in BNFFG – 2023

651 KB, pdf

Fact Sheet – Pitfall Traps – Agricultural Pest Monitoring in BNFFG – 2023

880 KB, pdf

Fact Sheet – Pest Monitoring – Agricultural Pest Monitoring in BNFFG – 2023

1 MB, pdf

Fact Sheet – Click Beetle – Agricultural Pest Monitoring in BNFFG – 2023

811 KB, pdf