Oak processionary caterpillars cause a whole range of damaging effects. As well as health issues, such as itching and eye and airway problems, the caterpillars also cause indirect problems including damage to oak trees, illness in pets and livestock, and the closure of camp sites, festivals, outdoor hospitality facilities and cycling and walking paths. In short, the oak processionary has a major socio-economic impact.
Socio-economic cost of the oak processionary
In order to gain a better insight into the costs incurred due to infestations of the oak processionary, this project will include a socio-economic impact study. This will examine the (financial) impact of the oak processionary on:
Cost/effectiveness analysis of the various control methods
We will also examine the costs for using the various control methods. This calculation will include costs for materials, equipment and working hours; we will also compare the costs of the various ecological control methods with one another and with the current price for pest-control using biocides.
If the effectiveness (i.e. reduction in the numbers of the oak processionary) varies between the methods, this will be considered within the cost/effectiveness calculation.
We expect the ecological methods to significantly reduce labour costs given that they are much less labour-intensive.