Diabrotica virgifera virgifera eradicated from Belgium
On 2010-04-30, the NPPO of Belgium officially declared the eradication of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae – EPPO A2 List), after 3 consecutive years of negative survey results. Control measures applied in Belgium were taken in accordance with the EU Commission Decision 2003/766/EC of 24 October 2003 on emergency measures to prevent the spread within the Community of Diabrotica virgifera Le Conte.
D. virgifera virgifera was found for the first time in Belgium in 2003 (EPPO RS 2003/143) near the Brussels airport ‘Zaventem’ and the military airport ‘Melsbroek’. In total 69 beetles were captured in 2003 in 23 traps on 17 maize plots. Three focus zones and one surrounding safety zone were delimited in 2003. In 2004, two additional focus zones were demarcated and the safety zone had to be enlarged. In total 7 beetles were captured in 2004 on 5 maize plots. These 5 fields were situated in the demarcated safety zone of 2003 and 4 of them were cultivated in monoculture. No captures were made in 2005. Because several beetles were captured in 2005 in the Netherlands next to the border with Belgium, a part of the safety zone related to this outbreak in the Netherlands was demarcated in Belgium (an area of intensive maize monoculture). In 2006, a total of 691 pheromone traps (PALs) with floral bait were deployed (361 for the national survey, 289 in demarcated areas and 41 in buffer zones). The national survey was carried out from the 1st of July until the 1st of October. The traps were inspected once a fortnight and pheromone was replaced once every 4 weeks. No beetles were captured in 2006 and the NPPO of Belgium considered that the 2004 outbreaks were eradicated.
In 2007, only one demarcated area remained at the border with the Netherlands. A total of 512 pheromone traps with floral bait were deployed from 1st July to 1st October (416 for the national survey and 96 in the demarcated area). There were no findings in 2007.
In 2008, a total of 467 pheromone traps were deployed from 1st July to 1st October in areas at risk. Since the last outbreak of D. virgifera virgifera dated from 2004 in Belgium and from 2005 in the Netherlands close to the border, there were no demarcated focus and safety zones left. Nevertheless, a reinforced monitoring of the former demarcated zones in Zaventem and Limburg was included in the national survey. Traps of the type PALs with floral bait and of the type PAL with sex pheromones were used. As in the previous monitoring campaigns, the traps were inspected once a fortnight, and pheromone was replaced once every 4 weeks. For the third consecutive year, there were no findings in 2008.
In 2009, monitoring continued and a total of 423 pheromone traps were deployed in the areas at risk as well as in the former demarcated zones. No beetles were captured. A similar monitoring programme is planned in 2010. In case new findings occur in the future, an emergency plan was drawn up to ensure a quick and adequate reaction to achieve total eradication again.
The pest status of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera in Belgium is officially declared as: Absent: pest eradicated.
NPPO of Belgium, 2010-04.
Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire (AFSCA) http://www.afsca.be/sp/pv_phyto/chry-mais_fr.asp (only in French/Dutch)