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Mass‐trapping trials for the control of pine processionary moth in a pine woodland recreational area

Trematerra, Pasquale, Colacci, Marco, Sciarretta, Andrea
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.1-2 pp. 129-136
Cedrus, Pinus halepensis, Pseudotsuga, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, acetates, adults, biological control, defoliation, eggs, hairs, insect growth regulators, insecticides, integrated pest management, larvae, mating disruption, monitoring, nests, overwintering, pheromone traps, sex pheromones, spraying, trapping, trees, winter, woodlands, Italy
The pine processionary moth, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, causes serious defoliation to Cedrus, Pinus and Pseudotsuga trees, as well as health problems in humans, pets and farm animals due to their urticating hairs. Environmentally friendly strategies for the management of T. pityocampa include: removal of egg batches, removal of nests, trapping of migrant larvae, spraying microbial or Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) insecticides and biocontrol, as well as pheromone‐based adult trapping and mating‐disruption. In the present paper, results on innovative technology for the control of T. pityocampa infestation using pheromone mass‐trapping are reported. Two 1‐ha plots were identified in the study area (central‐south Italy), a pine woodland recreational site growing Pinus halepensis. In the experimental plot (MT‐plot), 10 G‐traps (funnel trap type) baited with (Z)‐13‐hexadecen‐11‐ynyl acetate sex pheromone component were placed for mass‐trapping of adults; the other plot was used as a control‐plot (C‐plot). The T. pityocampa population was monitored using the two central traps in the MT‐plot and two traps positioned in the C‐plot. In addition, the winter nests made by T. pityocampa larvae overwintering on pine trees were counted. After 2 years of mass‐trapping, the number of adults trapped by the monitoring pheromone traps decreased in the MT‐plot, but not in the C‐plot, whereas the number of nests decreased in both plots. Statistical results highlighted significant differences in trap catches between the two plots but not between years. In the case of nests, differences among plots were not significant before the mass‐trapping, but significant after 1‐year treatment. According to our results, the mass‐trapping technique is able to reduce T. pityocampa infestations. This pheromone method can be applied in combination with other control systems in the context of integrated pest management in recreational areas.