A new system for detecting initial colonization by invasive pests and their locations.
Quarantine pests in plants can be a serious agricultural problem; many eradication programs using area-wide control measures have been implemented worldwide to combat this threat. Surveillance measures using sex pheromone (in general, male-attractant) traps are also widely implemented for rapid control and eradication of invasive pests. If initial pest colonization can be determined based on temporal count data of trapped insects (i.e., males), and countermeasures are applied only during colonization, costs incurred by these countermeasures would be dramatically reduced, especially in areas with frequent invasions. In this study, we developed a system to detect initial pest colonization, and to narrow down colonized regions using estimated temporal count data of the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius Fabricius (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in Tsuken Island, Okinawa, Japan. We verified the system by comparing our estimates to actual colonization data obtained via regular host plant surveys. Results indicated that our system was able to successfully detect pest colonization and estimate colonized regions. In this study, we discuss the conditions (i.e., pest biology, environment, etc.) that are optimal for application of our system.