Efficiency of funnel traps in controlling pine processionary moth
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Changing climate conditions have allowed the pine processionary moth [Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Den. & Schiff. 1775) (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae: Thaumetopoeidae) and T. wilkinsoni Tams. 1925 (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae: Thaumetopoeidae)] which is one of the most important insects in Mediterranean forest ecosystems, to distribute to larger areas. More effective control of this moth is necessary to prevent its expansion to northern and higher altitudes. Mechanical, biological, chemical, and biotechnical control methods are currently being applied. These methods are either not effective alone, are very expensive, have low impact, or are problematic with respect to the environmental and human health. The purpose of this study was to develop a new approach to control the pine processionary moth and to develop an economical, ecological, and effective trap exploiting its behavioural characteristics. Traps attached to tree trunks caused mature larvae to be trapped as they landed on the soil in convoys to become pupa. In 2013, the average number of nests per tree was 4.7, while it decreased to 2.0 in 2015; furthermore, the average number of larvae decreased from 265 to 57. As a result of this 3-year study, it was found that these traps could catch nearly all of the adult larvae and reduce the moth population; it was also evident that these traps can be used as a new alternative method to control the pine processionary moth, alone or in combination with other methods.
Pine processionary moth, Trap, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni
Journal Of Plant Diseases And Protection
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