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Micro-managing arthropod invasions: eradication and control of invasive arthropods with microbes

Informally Refereed
Authors: Ann E. Hajek, Patrick C. Tobin
Year: 2010
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Biological Invasions 12: 2895-2912.


Non-indigenous arthropods are increasingly being introduced into new areas worldwide and occasionally they cause considerable ecological and economic harm. Many invasive arthropods particularly pose problems to areas of human habitation and native ecosystems. In these cases, the use of environmentally benign materials, such as host-specific entomopathogens, can be more desirable than broader spectrum control tactics that tend to cause greater non-target effects. The majority of successful eradication programs using arthropod pathogens have targeted invasive Lepidoptera with Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk), such as eradication efforts against the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), in North America and New Zealand. Both Btk and Lymantria dispar nucleopolyhedrovirus have been successfully used in efforts to limit the spread of L. dispar in the United States. For invasive arthropod species that are well established, suppression programs have successfully used arthropod-pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes for either short- or long-term management. We will summarize the use of pathogens and nematodes in invasive arthropod management programs within a general context, and compare the use of microbes in gypsy moth management with diverse microbes being developed for use against other invasive arthropods.


arthropod pathogens, augmentation biological control, biological invasions, classical biological control, containment, eradication, Lymantria dispar


Hajek, Ann E.; Tobin, Patrick C. 2010. Micro-managing arthropod invasions: eradication and control of invasive arthropods with microbes. Biological Invasions 12: 2895-2912.