Cacopsylla pyricola (Förster) is one of the most important pests of pear in North America, where several native predators have been considered for integrated pest management (IPM) programmes. Two molecular markers of 271 and 188 bp were developed from C. pyricola cytochrome oxidase I (COI) fragments, in order to study the detection of this species in the gut of arthropod predators. Primer sensitivity and the detection period for pear psylla remains in the guts of Anthocoris tomentosus Pericart were determined. The sensitivity threshold was defined at 10-5 dilution of a C. pyricola fifth-instar nymph in all samples. Predator adults were evaluated immediately after ingestion of one to five C. pyricola nymphs (t = 0) and after 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, 24 and 32 h. Detection of the presence of C. pyricola DNA always lasted longer using the shorter fragment and was observed after 32 h of digestion using both markers. The primers amplifying the 188 bp fragment amplified all four psyllid species tested, whereas the primers designed to amplify the 271 bp fragment did so exclusively for C. pyricola and its close relative, Cacopsylla pyri (Linnaeus). Both primers failed to amplify DNA from representative species of the Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, Hemerobiidae, Anthocoridae, Miridae, Salticidae, Aphididae, Tetranychidae and the Tortricidae, suggesting their suitability for general trophic studies.