Soil insect score is a measure of the presence of potential insect pests spotted within your soil. The scoring lists some example insect species which may not be relevant to your soil type or environmental biome, so feel free to use these loosely as examples and score your soil based on your own knowledge of insect pressure and damage in your area.
You can do this test alongside other spade tests, such as the earthworm count.
What to record
A score of 0-2 where:
- 0 = Very poor. E.g. 3+ soil caterpillars, wireworms, leatherjackets, or mole crickets, 4+ cicada, 14+ clover/alfalfa root weevils / grass grubs, or > 40% soil cover of pasture mealy bug.
- 0.5 = Poor. E.g. 2 soil caterpillars, wireworms, leatherjackets, or mole crickets, 3 cicada, 11-14 clover/alfalfa root weevils / grass grubs, or 30-40% soil cover of pasture mealy bug.
- 1 = Moderate. E.g. 1 wireworm, leatherjacket, mole cricket, soil caterpillar, 1-3 cicada, 5-10 clover/alfalfa root weevils, 7-13 grass grubs, or 10-30% soil cover of mealy bugs.
- 1.5 = Good. Minimal / low insect numbers, below economic thresholds.
- 2 = Very good. No insect pests spotted in the soil sample