One of the challenges in detecting a pest incursion is the selection of an appropriate sampling technique that is relatively easy to use and inexpensive. Five sampling techniques (sticky traps, water traps, sweep netting, vacuum sampling and direct searching) were used to detect the tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) in potato crops on the North Island of New Zealand. Sticky traps and water traps outperformed the other methods in detecting psyllids. There was weak evidence that water traps outperformed sticky traps, but this difference was minor. Sticky traps closer to the edge of a crop were more likely to catch more psyllids. The results suggest that surveillance for incursion by B. cockerelli into Australia using yellow sticky or water traps would be easier and more time-effective to implement than other methods and would provide a higher probability of detection if the psyllid was in fact present.