New study on evidence of cross‑channel dispersal into England of the forest pest Ips typographus

Published on March 19, 2024, by Jean-Claude Grégoire

In 2018, for the first time in the British history, reproducing populations of the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus, the most damaging pest in Europe, were found in Kent, in southern England. Our study, carried out with Forest Research in Britain, relied on networks of pheromone traps deployed from an outbreak hotspot in the French and Belgian Ardenne to the English coast. We show that, contrary to the hypothesis that the pest entered Britain with infested wood, the insects managed to fly over the English Channel. According to a spread model based on the trap catches on the continent, beetles could have penetrated more than 160 km inland during a large-scale event in June 2021. These results demonstrates the extraordinary distance I. typographus may move under outbreak conditions and suggests that future incursions of this and other plant-associated pests may move via the same pathway. Read the whole study here.

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Reference: Inward DJG, Caiti E, Barnard K, Hasbroucq S, Reed K, Grégoire JC. (2024). Evidence of cross-Channel dispersal into England of the forest pest Ips typographus. J Pest Sci, in press