Attitude of operators as a factor of risk in pest sampling by sticky traps
Sticky traps are time saving and the operator only has to change a flat device and do the counting on non-moving dead insects. Might we expect any measurable or significant differences related solely to an personal component or “attitude” of operators?. We attempted to test the attitude of operators, as a risk factor in sampling by sticky traps. Sixteen students in their last year of college, attending an optional course of pest diagnosis, were considered as operators. They received white cards with black dots that represented insects on sticky traps, and were asked to do the counting. There were two ''density” (500 and 1000 dots) and three “counting methods” treatments (25, 100 and 400 cells within a grid). The difference between number of dots and the record of operators were analysed using ANVA and DGC test. Operators underestimated between 6% and 16% of the number of dots. Significant differences emerged between dot density, cell size and operators, where three groups emerged. This may become a risk, when an operator belonging to the “worst” group has to decide about some control procedure. The risk consist in not to control the pest when it is necessary. There seemed to be a behavioural feature of people, named here as “attitude”, since did not depend on knowledge or training. Could it be changed by training?.
sticky traps, operators, attitude, risk
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