Management Of Gypsy Moth

Management of gypsy moth in North America and elsewhere has evolved over time as different tools became available and as public attitudes toward pesticide use have changed. In the 1960s, large areas were sprayed by air with DDT. DDT was banned in the late 1960s and was supplanted by other chemical pesticides, such as carbaryl. In the late 1980s, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a bacterial pesticide, became a viable alternative to chemical pesticides and became the material of choice in many regions. The advantage of Bt is that it is more selective than most chemical pesticides; it affects only larval Lepidoptera that feed on Bt-contaminated foliage. In addition, government agencies in the generally infested region in northeastern United States concluded that large-scale application of pesticides against gypsy moth was neither ecologically acceptable nor worth the considerable expense. Most forest trees survive gypsy moth outbreaks, and the outbreak populations soon collapse on their own. Control activities in these regions generally aim at foliage protection on high-value trees, rather than suppression of gypsy moth populations.

See Also the Following Articles

Biological Control • Forest Habitats • Pathogens of Insects • Population Ecology

Further Reading

Campbell, R. W., and Sloane, R. J. (1977). Forest stand responses to defoliation by gypsy moth. Forest Science Monogr. No. 19. Doane, C. C., and McManus, M. L. (eds.) (1981). The gypsy moth: Research toward integrated pest management. USDA Forest Service Tech. Bull. 1584.

Elkinton, J. S., and Liebhold, A. M. (1990). Population dynamics of gypsy moth in North America. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 35, 571—596. Hajek, A. E. (1999). Pathology and epizootiology of Entomophaga maimaiga infections in forest Lepidoptera. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 63, 814—835. Liebhold, A. M., and McManus, M. L. (1999). The evolving use of insecticides in gypsy moth management. J. Forestry 97, 20—23. Liebhold, A. M., Elkinton, J. S., Williams, D., and Muzika, R.-M. (2000). What causes outbreaks of gypsy moth in North America? Populat. Ecol. 42, 257-266.

Wallner, W. E. (ed.) (1989). Lymantriidae: Comparisons of features of new and old world tussock moths. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-123.

Williams, D. W., Fuester, R. W., Metterhouse, W. W., Balaam, R. J., Bullock, R. H., Chianese, R. J., and Reardon, R. C. (1992). Incidence and ecological relationships of parasitism in larval populations of Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Biol. Control2, 35-43.

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