Biological Invasions (2017) 19, 1107-1119
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Global range expansion of pest Lepidoptera requires socially acceptable solutions
Biological Invasions 19 (4), 1107-1119
Abstract: Caterpillars of key moth pests can cause significant losses in cropping systems worldwide, and globalization is spreading such pests. Failure to control some species can jeopardise the economics of food production. The Global Eradication and Response Database was reviewed on known government-level incursion response programs specific to invasive Lepidoptera. Geographic range expansion of Lepidoptera was evident from 144 incursion response programs targeting 28 species in 10 families. The countries involved in responses to Lepidoptera were USA (104), Australia (8), Canada (7), New Zealand (6), Italy (3), Mexico (2), with the remainder with one programme each (Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, and Spain). Most programs have been undertaken since the 1990's. Control options exist for the long-term management of Lepidoptera, but most have issues of cost, efficacy or non-target impacts that reduce their acceptance. Pheromone-based technologies are increasingly available and are generally highly compatible with other tactics. The development of tactics for new targets is a major undertaking, although previous programs can be invaluable. New and improved socially-acceptable technologies are needed to counteract range expansion in Lepidoptera, and usually need to be used in combinations to achieve eradication. The sterile insect technique, which involves mass-rearing and release of sterile insects to reduce wild populations of the pest, has been used successfully against a number of lepidopteran species. Several sterile moth programs are under development. New technologies must have a social license to operate in urban areas, where new incursions are frequently detected. This factor is likely to reduce tactical flexibility and increase the complexity of insect eradication.
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