Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Thomas, D.B. 2012. Comparison of insect vacuums for sampling Asian citrus psyllid (Homoptera: Psyllidae) on citrus trees. Southwestern Entomologist. 37(1):55-60.
Interpretive Summary: Three vacuum devices were compared for sampling the Asian citrus psyllid on orange trees. One device was a cordless car vac. The second was a similar car vac powered by a cord with a pigtail connection to the vehicle’s power take-off outlet. Each of these sucked the insects into a mesh cylinder. The third device was a reversed leaf blower which sucked the insects into a mesh bag. Each device had advantages and disadvantages over the others, depending on the collecting situation. However, the gas powered device captured the most psyllids. The handheld models provided ease in handling compared to the bulkier (and noisier) leafblower and might be more suitable for backyard situations. The disadvantage of the cordless device is that the operating time of ca. 10 minutes, is sufficient for only two trees before it must be recharged which requires 16 hours. Due to greater air flow, the gas device captured greater numbers than either of the smaller electrical devices.
Three vacuum devices were compared for sampling psyllid populations. One was an AC rechargeable, handheld, cordless model and a second was a handheld, DC model powered through a cord connected to a 12V vehicle battery. Each of these devices had a mesh cylinder (substituted for a dust bag) in which the insects were captured. The third device was a reversed leaf blower with a two-cycle gasoline engine with the insects captured in a standard sized aerial insect net. The DC powered sampler was tethered to its power source, in this case, a vehicle which could access trees in a commercial grove, whereas, the AC cordless device may be more suitable for dooryard situations. The sampling procedure consisted of vacuuming a target tree for 5 minutes. The mean numbers of psyllids captured per tree with the AC, DC, and leafblower devices were respectivey: 17.4 (n=44), 33.0 (n=72), and 96.8 (n=47). All mean differences were statistically significant. To test the efficiency of the leafblower, some trees were immediately resampled. The proportion of psyllids in the first sample compared to the resample was approximately 3:1.