The aim of the project is to provide an innovate tool of integrated pest management in the new expansion outbreak area of the pine processionary moth. We will start from the definition of the present and potential range of the pest, evaluating the socio-economic impact. Then the available knowledge on the pest dynamics in core areas will be used to understand which are the most important factors to consider for the control in the expansion area. We need basic information about the colonising capability of the pest populations, in terms of reaction to the global change as well as different spreading attitudes which could be physiologically and genetically determined. The insect spread could be used instead as a tool to reliably assess the potential effects of global change. The new association between the host pines and the pest observed in the expansion areas will offer a possibility to test semiochemicals which have been recently shown to affect the host plant and mate recognition in adult moths. The bio-control techniques usually applied in core areas will be evaluated for large scale application in expansion areas. The potential development of resistance to commonly used bio-control method (applications of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki) will be assessed for several populations in expansion areas.The costs and benefits of the new management strategies will be considered at European scale and a final plan of exploitation and dissemination of the results will be realised.

The general objectives of the project are:
To assess the risk of outbreaks in new regions by a temperature-based model.
To understand the genetic structure of populations in core and expansion areas by means of molecular markers.
To find out which chemical signals are active in host attraction/repellence, insect performance and sex communication system in core as well as in expansion areas.
To assess if the bio-control strategies currently applied in core areas, based mostly on Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, can be extended to expansion areas without potential risks such as side effects and resistance development.
To elaborate a cost-benefit analysis of a new integrated pest management scheme in core and expansion areas.
To exploit and disseminate the results of the project in all European and non European countries where the processionary moth is or might become a pest.