Although it is native to the Mediterranean region, the pine processionary moth – or the Thaumetopoea pityocampa – which causes the drying and death of red pine trees by forming tulle-like sacs on trees, it has been frequently seen in Istanbul for the last few years.
Professor M. Bora Kaydan, a lecturer at Çukurova University’s Department of Biotechnology and Entomology, evaluated the presence of the pine processionary insect, a long-haired caterpillar, and stated that the insect species is found in almost every part of the Mediterranean region.
“It stands out because it came out (now) in Istanbul, but it is one of the biggest problems in the Mediterranean region,” Kaydan said.
Kaydan stated that this species has created serious problems for pine trees in the region for a very long time.
“The reason why it is seen so much in Istanbul is global climate change. There have been incredible changes in the climate in recent years, one of the biggest problems in the world. When we say global climate change, there are extraordinary climatic events, Very heavy rains can happen in the middle of June to July. But one of the important effects is from the south. Due to the temperature increase to the north, insects also move from south to north. the plains to higher altitudes. This is true not only for the pine processionary moth but also for many insect species. There are also many different insects that have entered our country in recent years. change, the displacement of species.”
Kaydan stated that if the temperature and migrations to the north continue like this, there is a high probability an increase in the population of the pine processionary moths in Istanbul, and mentioned that different insects and bacteria are used in the fight against these species.
“There is a coleoptera species used to combat it, it is quite common; there are parasitoid species, it is quite common. Other than that, there are not many species that will suppress the population. Under normal conditions, we do not recommend using chemicals in forest areas.However, there is a bacterium we call ‘BT’ that is effective in these.These are more used and recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.Biological control is recommended and at the same time, it is recommended to protect the biological balance.”
Kaydan underlined that there is no major threat to the Black Sea region.
“Because there are not many such pines in the Black Sea region, I don’t think they will cross over to that side. What is happening in Istanbul is that the pines planted there are brought from the Mediterranean and grown there. has its own vegetation, its own unique vegetation. Probably it will not be seen much in the other parts of the country. could be there.”