Rapid delimiting of pest infestations: a case study of the Mediterranean fruit fly.
The problem of determining quickly the extent of insect pest infestations, such as that of the fruit pest Ceratitis capitata in California, is discussed; it is assumed that trapping is the primary method of detection. Analytical techniques are used to provide a relationship between single trap performance as measured in the laboratory and the performance of groups of traps in the field. Monte Carlo simulation techniques are used to compare the efficiency of various trap placement patterns. Depending on the objective adopted, the optimal choice of trap pattern may be a rectangle or a cross.