Capacity Development Portal
Good Practices
 

Forest management and conservation

  1. Forest insect outbreak management
  2. Forest law compliance


Aerial application of biological insecticides controls

What problem did it address, where?

Outbreaks of forest tree leaf-feeding insects, especially in forests under stress from drought, advanced tree age, crowding and other problems in plantation management, can occur suddenly after years or even decades of no threat, and can persist for several annual cycles of tree growth. Trees are badly stressed, loss significant vigor and productivity, and are more at risk of dying from other insects, diseases, and fire. Several countries in Eastern Europe and Asia -- Moldova, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Mongolia, and DPR Korea --have suffered increasingly from insect outbreaks including from Gypsy Moths and Siberian Caterpillars.

How?

As these outbreaks are severe, the best treatment possible is large-scale aerial application of biological insecticides: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or insect growth regulators. Both are selective, killing only leaf-feeding insects and not mammals, birds or many predatory insects. The complex life cycles of these insects means that the timing of application is critical. When the proper application equipment and formulation of bio-insecticides is available, national staff are trained and coached to apply these formulations.

Where next?

Russia, North Africa, other countries where forest management quality has declined due to transitional economies, lack of skilled national capacity

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