Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 83–91 | Cite as

Eradication and containment of non-native forest insects: successes and failures

  • Andrew M. LiebholdEmail author
  • John M. Kean


The problem of forest insect invasions is intensifying. Non-native forest insects are invading virtually every world region, and many are causing severe ecological and economic impacts. Biosecurity programs provide for intervention at various stages of the invasion process in order to mitigate the invasion problem. While preventing initial arrival of non-native insect species is a sound approach, such prevention is not always possible so additional measures are needed to manage invasions. Surveillance coupled with eradication is a valuable strategy for preventing the establishment of many new and potentially damaging species. Once non-native species are established, containment measures can be implemented to stop or slow the spread of these species in their non-native habitat. Here, we review how eradication and containment can be carried out as strategies for managing forest insect invasions. Several hundred programs have been implemented to eradicate non-native forest insects, with most programs proving successful. The vast majority of these eradication programs were implemented from 1970 onward. Pheromone-baited traps play a key role for detection and delimitation in most successful eradication programs. The isolation and synthesis of pheromones provided a key technology that facilitated forest insect eradications starting in the 1970s. Several examples are provided that illustrate both successful and failed eradication and containment programs. Consideration of historical experiences suggests the conditions that may lead to either success or failure of eradication and containment efforts.


Biological invasion Biosecurity Extinction Barrier zone Exclusion Slow the spread 



We thank Laura Blackburn for assistance with figures. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their input and the many contributors to the GERDA database.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Forest Service Northern Research StationMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.AgResearch LimitedHamiltonNew Zealand

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