Action

Use mass-emergence devices to increase natural enemy populations

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Source countries

Key messages

Parasitism: One randomised, replicated, controlled study in Switzerland found higher parasitism at one site but no effect at another site when mass-emergence devices were used in urban areas.
Pest damage: The same study found no effect on pest damage to horse chestnut trees

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 2003 at two urban sites in Bern, Switzerland (Kehrli et al. 2005) found higher parasitism of horse chestnut leafminers Cameraria ohridella in trees with mass-emergence devices (averaging 5-16% leafminers parasitised) than control trees without devices (3-10%) at one site and for a March (rather than May) application date. There was no effect of mass-emergence devices (or timing of application) at the second site (4-14% leafminers parasitised in treated trees vs. 5-15% in controls). Leaf loss caused by leafminers was similar in mass-emergence (3-54% defoliation) and control (3-63%) trees at both sites. Devices were placed in horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum trees to control leafminer damage using parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera). Devices were 200 l plastic tubs with four openings covered in a tissue filter with 600 µm mesh size – allowing wasps (but not leafminers) to develop, emerge and disperse into the trees. Horse chestnut leaf litter containing leafminers and parasitoids was placed inside the tubs (10 kg/device). Ten blocks of horse chestnut trees were selected (five at each site) and devices were hung in three trees/block. Two trees had devices (1 device/tree, applied 20 March and 23 May, respectively) and a control tree had no device.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Wright, H.L., Ashpole, J.E., Dicks, L.V., Hutchison, J., McCormack, C.G. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Some Aspects of Enhancing Natural Pest Control. Pages 603-625 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Natural Pest Control

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Natural Pest Control
Natural Pest Control

Natural Pest Control - Published 2013

Natural Pest Control Synopsis

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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