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Socially-acceptable eradication tools underpinned by modelling for eradication (BMSB, QFF, Codling moth, SWD)

This five-year project was completed in mid-2022

Project abstract

We investigated the effects of new tools for the eradication and surveillance of insect pests. We prioritized research on tools that are highly targeted with few to nil effects on other organisms. These tools included semiochemicals, the sterile insect technique, the use of biological control agents and trapping technologies. This project had strong international linkages.

We undertook the research using a mix of population modelling, field trials and validation to inform the models. We developed knowledge on the technical feasibility of the sterile insect technique to suppress population growth for brown marmorated stink bug, Queensland fruit fly and tortricid moths.

We now have a better understanding of how organisms interact with different tools such as traps. This provides us information on, for example, the probability that insect pests will be trapped in one or many traps over different periods of time, or conversely the probability that a number of insects will escape detection.

This research has greatly improved understanding of how different tools can suppress population growth as well as provide confidence that a species has been eradicated. The modelling approaches are widely transferable to large number of species.

Biosecurity outcome

  • Feasibility of the sterile insect technique (SIT) and high-density mass trapping (HD-MT) for BMSB eradication known.
  • The application and compatibility of multiple available eradication and delimitation technologies will be determined and optimised using population models for the eradication of BMSB, Queensland fruit fly (Qfly), great white butterfly (GWB) and codling moth (CM). CM parameters will inform an eradication model for Lobesia botrana (LB).
  • Knowledge on the effect of eradication tool use on population viability via mate-finding (Allee threshold) for Qfly and Drosophila suzukii, SWD. Modelling approaches will support declaration of freedom of the aforementioned species, determine the best use of available tools and identify knowledge gaps.

Science outcome

  • Determined whether the new tools of SIT and/or HD-MT are feasible for BMSB eradication.
  • Developed and validated population models to determine optimal eradication tool timing, spacing and likely interaction with other control tools (e.g. insecticide, SIT and/or odour-based tools) for BMSB, Qfly, LB and GWB. PhD and MSc trained.

For more information and publications on this and other B3 projects, visit Zotero.

The Zotero database is on the B3 website under ‘Outputs’.