Municipality of Enschede: use of Entonem nematodes against oak processionary caterpillar has important gains
The Municipality of Enschede started using nematodes for the first time in the spring of 2021 to try to halt the spread of the oak processionary caterpillar. The municipality’s built-up area has a total of 22,000 oak trees. In the past, the municipality only extracted the nests. But as Petra Klein Breukink explains, it was not enough. She is the project manager of the oak processionary caterpillar for the Municipality of Enschede. ‘We use Koppert’s nematode product Entonem in locations where we find a range of unusual butterflies and moths. As we only do this at an early stage, there is no secondary effect on other caterpillars. We’ve treated a total of 2600 to 3000 oak trees with nematodes.’
Maintenance of biodiversity
The municipality also used pheromone traps last summer, to help it to determine how many oak processionary caterpillar moths were still present in areas where different management methods have been used. ‘With that information, and based on the nuisance that we experience, we’ll be able to decide whether to expand the use of nematodes in following seasons,’ explains Klein Breukink. ‘But as I’ve already mentioned, the planning benefits and maintenance of biodiversity are important gains.