Insects | VOL. 13

Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae): Current Status of Biology, Ecology, and Management in Europe with Notes from North America

Publication Date Sep 19, 2022


The European Spongy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), is an abundant species found in oak woods in Central and Southern Europe, the Near East, and North Africa and is an important economic pest. It is a voracious eater and can completely defoliate entire trees; repeated severe defoliation can add to other stresses, such as weather extremes or human activities. Lymantria dispar is most destructive in its larval stage (caterpillars), stripping away foliage from a broad variety of trees (>500 species). Caterpillar infestation is an underestimated problem; medical literature reports that established populations of caterpillars may cause health problems to people and animals. Inflammatory reactions may occur in most individuals after exposure to setae, independent of previous exposure. Currently, chemical and mechanical methods, natural predators, and silvicultural practices are included for the control of this species. Various insecticides have been used for its control, often through aerial sprayings, which negatively affect biodiversity, frequently fail, and are inappropriate for urban/recreational areas. However, bioinsecticides based on various microorganisms (e.g., entomopathogenic viruses, bacteria, and fungi) as well as technologies such as mating disruption using sex pheromone traps have replaced insecticides for the management of L. dispar.


Lymantria Dispar Caterpillar Infestation Entomopathogenic Viruses Mating Disruption Management In Europe Aerial Sprayings Oak Woods Silvicultural Practices Natural Predators Current Status Of Management

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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