Pest monitoring and prognosis

The Forest Protection Department continuously monitors the native and alien potential pests that are particularly relevant for the forests in south-west Germany. On the basis of its monitoring, it prepares forecasts on pest development, and keeps forest owners, forestry services and the public informed. The forecasts can be used in combination with research results to aid decision-making and make recommendations for preventative and curative measures.

For bark beetle species known to cause damage, there is for example a regional network of traps and brood tree sites that provide  weekly data  on swarm activity and brood development during the activity period (available for the moment in German only). The efficiency and effectiveness of infestation controls and downstream measures to decontaminate the infested wood can thus be optimised temporally and spatially.

Other potentially harmful native insects, such as the gypsy moth, the oak processionary moth, or the cockchafer, are also monitored annually, so that the onset of possible mass propagation is detected in good time and the risk can be assessed. Countermeasures can be initiated on this basis if necessary. Depending on the species, monitoring is carried out using pheromone traps, glue ring monitoring traps, or hatching eclectors. With the help of the recorded time series of the past years and decades, it is also possible, for example, to investigate the influences of changing climatic conditions on the respective species.

Increasingly important is the monitoring of invasive or quarantine pests, whose introduction, immigration and establishment in south-west Germany must be prevented. One prominent example of this is the Asian longhorned beetle.

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