The BIOCOMES project brings together 27 partners developing 11 novel biological control products for pests and diseases.
One of these pests is gypsy moth. This is a follow-up on an earlier presentation on field experiments in 2014. It provides more information about the gypsy moth and our activities to find a sustainable bio-control product against it.
The BIOCOMES project brings together 27
partners who are developing 11 new
biological control products against various
pests and diseases. One of these pests is the
This is a follow-up on an earlier presentation
on field experiments in 2014. It provides
more information about the gypsy moth and
our activities to find a sustainable bio-control
product against it.
The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) causes significant economic damage to deciduous
forests and orchards, mainly in Europe, North America and Asia.
The baculovirus LdMNPV is a natural enemy of the gypsy moth. It can cause mass
disease in the pest, leading to a decline in outbreaks.
In field trials conducted in 2016 the biological activity of LdMNPV in the reduction of
gypsy moth populations was assessed in deciduous stands.
Due to the lack of gypsy moth populations naturally occurring in the forests we used
caterpillars reared in a laboratory from virus-free egg masses.
Foto: G. Barloggio
Newly hatched caterpillars were reared on birch twigs placed in glass cloches.
Field trials were carried out in central Poland in an 80-year-old Scots pine forest mixed
with 30-35-year-old oaks and 10-15-year-old birches; for the experiment we selected 40
oaks and 40 birches (red spots on trees).
Ground treatments were carried out in May 2016. The virus was applied in three
concentrations and the trees were sprayed with a dose of two litres per tree. The same
number of trees was used as the untreated control group.
Foto: L. Forlin
After the leaves dried, branches of the treated and untreated trees (comparative
control) were covered by 50 cm long sleeves made of mesh.
Gypsy moth caterpillars were then moved from
the laboratory to the forest and ten insects were
placed in each sleeve.
The caterpillars were reared in sleeves for three weeks.
The efficacy of the treatment was assessed three weeks after application when the
branches with the sleeves were cut off and transferred to the laboratory.
Foto: G. Barloggio
The caterpillars from each sleeve were
collected to estimate their mortality in
treated and untreated trees.
Ten leaves from each sleeve were collected to compare the extent of damage.
The leaves were fixed on paper, then photocopied and scanned to calculate
total leaf area and damaged leaf area. The results were subjected to statistical
The sleeves attached to trees sprayed with virus showed increased mortality of gypsy
moth caterpillars (A) compared to untreated trees (B).
Application of the virus to the gypsy moth population developing on oaks (upper photos)
and birches (lower photos) resulted in a reduction of leaf damage.
This presentation gave a quick overview
of the 2016 BCA field trials regarding
gypsy moth control.
Visit our website to read more about our
work on the gypsy moth and the other ten
biological control products we are
This project has received funding from the
European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for
research, technological development and demonstration
under grant agreement no