The Principality has embarked on a campaign to protect its pines and palms from aggressive insects, including processionary caterpillars.
Under a mandate put forth by the Department of Urban Development, Monaco has hired French company Bioassays France to undertake the preventative treatment, which kicked off on 26th June and will last one month.
Using compressed air launchers, like you would see in a paintball game, biodegradable balls are launched into the trees dispatching different methods of pest control.
A pheromone is applied to the pine trees to saturate the receptors of the male butterfly which fathers the pine processionary caterpillar. The pheromone creates sexual confusion, preventing the males from finding and fertilising females for 120 days.
Pine processionary caterpillars are responsible for most of Southern Europe’s defoliation, and whilst other trees are affected, it is the pines who are most susceptible. They are also dangerous to dogs and other animals, causing itchy painful rashes or even death due to anaphylactic shock.
The spraying commenced in Fontvieille in the Jardin de l’Ane and will move on to Monaco-Ville at the Jardins Saint-Martin and Sainte Barbe, before moving onto Moneghetti on Avenue Pasteur and finally to Boulevard des Moulins at the Jardin Trocadero and the Annonciade.
Additionally, the palms in Fontvieille will be treated from 3rd July with biodegradable pine resin beads that have a repellent effect against predators, palm butterflies and palm weevils for up to three months.
Photo: @Direction de la Communication / ManuelVitali