Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 401–414 | Cite as

Determinants of successful arthropod eradication programs

  • Patrick C. Tobin
  • John M. Kean
  • David Maxwell Suckling
  • Deborah G. McCullough
  • Daniel A. Herms
  • Lloyd D. Stringer
Original Paper


Despite substantial increases in public awareness and biosecurity systems, introductions of non-native arthropods remain an unwelcomed consequence of escalating rates of international trade and travel. Detection of an established but unwanted non-native organism can elicit a range of responses, including implementation of an eradication program. Previous studies have reviewed the concept of eradication, but these efforts were largely descriptive and focused on selected case studies. We developed a Global Eradication and Response DAtabase (“GERDA”) to facilitate an analysis of arthropod eradication programs and determine the factors that influence eradication success and failure. We compiled data from 672 arthropod eradication programs targeting 130 non-native arthropod species implemented in 91 countries between 1890 and 2010. Important components of successful eradication programs included the size of the infested area, relative detectability of the target species, method of detection, and the primary feeding guild of the target species. The outcome of eradication efforts was not determined by program costs, which were largely driven by the size of the infestation. The availability of taxon-specific control tools appeared to increase the probability of eradication success. We believe GERDA, as an online database, provides an objective repository of information that will play an invaluable role when future eradication efforts are considered.


Detection Eradication Invasive species management Non-native pests 



This work was conducted as part of a working group, “Applying population ecology to strategies for eradicating invasive forest insects,” supported by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (, a Center funded by NSF (Grant No. EF-0553768), the University of California, Santa Barbara, the State of California and the USDA Forest Service, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, Asheville, North Carolina. We are very grateful to the numerous colleagues and biosecurity practitioners who assisted in the compilation of data on their respective eradication programs. We thank Laura Blackburn (USDA Forest Service) for technical assistance. We also acknowledge support from New Zealand’s Better Border Biosecurity research program ( and an Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre ( We are grateful to three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments.


  1. Agresti A (1996) An introduction to catagorical data analysis. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  2. Aukema JE, McCullough DG, Von Holle B et al (2010) Historical accumulation of nonindigenous forest pests in the continental US. Bioscience 60:886–897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beetle Busters (2012). USDA animal and plant health inspection service. Accessed 23 October 2012
  4. Bierl BA, Beroza M, Collier CW (1970) Potent sex attractant of the gypsy moth: its isolation, identification and synthesis. Science 170:87–89PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blackwood JC, Berec L, Yamanaka T et al (2012) Bioeconomic synergism between tactics for insect eradication in the presence of Allee effects. Proc R Soc Biol Sci Ser B 279:2807–2815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brockerhoff EG, Bain J, Kimberley M et al (2006) Interception frequency of exotic bark and ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) and relationship with establishment in New Zealand and worldwide. Can J For Res 36:289–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brockerhoff EB, Liebhold AM, Richardson B et al (2010) Eradication of invasive forest insects: concept, methods, costs and benefits. N Z J Sci 40(Suppl.):S117–S135Google Scholar
  8. Carey JR (1996) The incipient Mediterranean fruit fly population in California: implications for invasion biology. Ecology 77:1690–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crall AW, Newman GJ, Jarnevich CS et al (2010) Improving and integrating data on invasive species collected by citizen scientists. Biol Invasions 12:3419–3428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dahlsten DL (1986) Control of invaders. In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp 275–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahlsten DL, Garcia R (1989) Eradication of exotic pests: analysis with case histories. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  12. Drake JA, Lodge DM (2006) Allee effects, propagule pressure and the probability of establishment: risk analysis for biological invasions. Biol Invasions 8:365–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Epanchin-Niell RS, Haight RG, Berec L et al (2012) Optimal surveillance and eradication of invasive species in heterogeneous landscapes. Ecol Lett 15:803–812PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flessa KW, Jablonski D (1983) Extinction is here to stay. Paleobiology 9:315–321Google Scholar
  15. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (2006) International standards for phytosanitary measures no. 1 to 24. Secretariat of the international plant protection convention. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome, p 291Google Scholar
  16. Froud KJ, Oliver TM, Bingham PC et al (2008) Passive surveillance of new exotic pests and diseases in New Zealand. In: Froud KJ, Popay IA, Zydenbos SM (eds) Surveillance for biosecurity: pre-border to pest management. New Zealand Plant Protection Society, Christchurch, pp 97–110Google Scholar
  17. Government Accountability Office (2006) Invasive forest pests. Lessons learned from three recent infestations may aid in managing future efforts. Government Accountability Office, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, GAO-06-353Google Scholar
  18. Graham OH, Hourrigan JL (1977) Eradication programs for the arthropod parasites of livestock. J Med Entomol 13:629–658PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hajek AE, Tobin PC (2009) North American eradications of Asian and European gypsy moth. In: Hajek AE, Glare TR, O’Callaghan M (eds) Use of microbes for control and eradication of invasive arthropods. Springer, New York, pp 71–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hawkins CP, MacMahon JA (1989) Guilds: the multiple meanings of a concept. Annu Rev Entomol 34:423–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Henderson S (2012) Citizen science comes of age. Front Ecol Environ 10:283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoffmann B, Davis P, Gott K et al (2011) Improving ant eradications: details of more successes, a global synthesis and recommendations. Aliens 31:16–23Google Scholar
  23. Hulme PE, Bacher S, Kenis M et al (2008) Grasping at the routes of biological invasions: a framework for integrating pathways into policy. J Appl Ecol 45:403–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ingwell LL, Preisser EL (2011) Using citizen science programs to identify host resistance in pest-invaded forests. Conserv Biol 25:182–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jarrad F, Barrett S, Murray J et al (2011) Ecological aspects of biosecurity surveillance design for the detection of multiple invasive animal species. Biol Invasions 13:803–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kean J, Tobin P, Lee D et al (2013) Global eradication and response database. Accessed 18 June 2013
  27. Knipling EF (1966) Some basic principles of insect population suppression and management. Bull Entomol Soc Am 12:7–15Google Scholar
  28. Kottek M, Grieser J, Beck C et al (2006) World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorol Z 15:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Langor D, DeHaas L, Foottit R (2009) Diversity of non-native terrestrial arthropods on woody plants in Canada. Biol Invasions 11:5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Levine JM, D’Antonio CM (2003) Forecasting biological invasions with increasing international trade. Conserv Biol 17:322–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liebhold AM, Tobin PC (2006) Growth of newly established alien populations: comparison of North American gypsy moth colonies with invasion theory. Popul Ecol 48:253–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liebhold AM, Work TT, McCullough DG et al (2006) Airline baggage as a pathway for alien insect species invading the United States. Am Entomol 53:48–54Google Scholar
  33. Liebhold AM, Brockerhoff EG, Garrett LJ et al (2012) Live plant imports: the major pathway for forest insect and pathogen invasions of the United States. Front Ecol Environ 10:135–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lockwood JL, Cassey P, Blackburn T (2005) The role of propagule pressure in explaining species invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 20:223–228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mack RN, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM et al (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecol Appl 10:689–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McCullough DG, Work TT, Cavey JF et al (2006) Interceptions of nonindigenous plant pests at US ports of entry and border crossings over a 17-year period. Biol Invasions 8:611–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morrison SA, Macdonald N, Walker K et al (2007) Facing the dilemma at eradication’s end: uncertainty of absence and the Lazarus effect. Front Ecol Environ 5:271–276Google Scholar
  38. Myers JH, Savoie A, van Randen E (1998) Eradication and pest management. Annu Rev Entomol 43:471–491PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Myers JH, Simberloff DS, Kuris AM et al (2000) Eradication revisited: dealing with exotic species. Trends Ecol Evol 15:316–320PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. National Research Council (2002) Predicting invasions of nonindigenous plants and plant pests. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  41. Niemelä P, Mattson WJ (1996) Invasion of North American forests by European phytophagous insects. Bioscience 46:741–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Officer LH (2011) Exchange rates between the United States dollar and forty-one currencies. MeasuringWorth. Accessed 23 October 2012
  43. Pluess T, Cannon R, Jarošík V et al (2012a) When are eradication campaigns successful? A test of common assumptions. Biol Invasions 14:1365–1378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pluess T, Jarošík V, Pyšek P et al (2012b) Which factors affect the success or failure of eradication campaigns against alien species? PLoS ONE 7:e48157PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Popham WL, Hall DG (1958) Insect eradication programs. Annu Rev Entomol 3:335–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reichard SH, White P (2001) Horticulture as a pathway of invasive plant introductions in the United States. Bioscience 51:103–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rejmánek M, Pitcairn MJ (2002) When is eradication of exotic pest plants a realistic goal? In: Veitch CR, Clout MN (eds) Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. IUCN, Gland, pp 94–98Google Scholar
  48. SAS Institute, Inc. (1999) SAS/STAT® user’s guide, Version 8. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  49. Simberloff D (2003) How much information on population biology is needed to manage introduced species. Conserv Biol 17:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Simberloff D (2009) The role of propagule pressure in biological invasions. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 40:81–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Simberloff D, Parker IM, Windle PN (2005) Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs. Front Ecol Environ 3:12–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Suckling DM, Barrington AM, Chhagan A et al (2007) Eradication of the Australian painted apple moth Teia anartoides in New Zealand: trapping, inherited sterility, and male competitiveness. In: Vreysen MJB, Robinson AS, Hendrichs J (eds) Area-wide control of insect pests: from research to field implementation. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 603–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suckling DM, Tobin PC, McCullough DG et al (2012) Combining tactics to exploit Allee effects for eradication of alien insect populations. J Econ Entomol 105:1–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tobin PC, Bai BB, Eggen DA et al (2012) The ecology, geopolitics, and economics of managing Lymantria dispar in the United States. Int J Pest Manag 53:195–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Whitten M, Mahon R (2005) Misconceptions and constraints. In: Dyck VA, Hendrichs J, Robinson AS (eds) Sterile insect technique, principles and practice in area-wide integrated pest management. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 601–626Google Scholar
  56. Williamson SH (2011) Seven ways to compute the relative value of a U.S. dollar amount, 1774 to present. MeasuringWorth. Accessed 23 October 2012
  57. Work TT, McCullough DG, Cavey JF et al (2005) Arrival rate of nonindigenous insect species into the United States through foreign trade. Biol Invasions 7:323–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick C. Tobin
    • 1
  • John M. Kean
    • 2
  • David Maxwell Suckling
    • 3
    • 4
  • Deborah G. McCullough
    • 5
  • Daniel A. Herms
    • 6
  • Lloyd D. Stringer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Forest ServiceU.S. Department of Agriculture, Northern Research StationMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.AgResearch LimitedRuakura Research CentreHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research CentreCanberraAustralia
  5. 5.Departments of Entomology and ForestryMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  6. 6.Department of Entomology, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development CenterThe Ohio State UniversityWoosterUSA

Personalised recommendations