ECONEX Orthotomicus erosus BIOCONTROL
Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston, 1857) belongs to a genus composed of 24 species from the Palearctic and Paleotropical zones that attack many species of trees. Orthothomicus erosus is a bark beetle that mainly attacks the Pinus species, although it has also been found on Cupressus, Picea, Cedrus libani, Abies pinsapo and Pseudotsuga menziesii. It naturally spreads throughout the Mediterranean Basin, Central Europe, British Isles, North Africa, Central Asia and China. Orthothomicus erosus is considered an invasive exotic species that has entered into South Africa, Chile, Uruguay, Fiji, the United States and other islands of the Pacific Ocean.In general, it is considered a non-aggressive species that attacks very weak trees.

However, it can also attack live trees, which are more or less in the initial stages of decline, or very stressed. Reasons for this stress could be the extreme lack of water as a result of droughts or fires. They can also vectorise blue Sapstain fungus such as Ophiostoma or Leptographium (Kirisitis 2004), or other pathogens like Fusarium calmorum (Romón et al 2007) or Sphaeropsis sapinea (Zwolinski, 1995).


This species can produce more than three generations a year, depending on the temperature. It is a polygamous species, so it has a huge biotic potential in Mediterranean zones where the temperature is high in summer. The male excavates the entrance hole and the nuptial chamber, emitting an aggregation pheromone that attracts some females, usually three. The fertilised females excavate the maternal gallery starting from the nuptial chamber and following along the longitudinal axis of the tree. The males remove the sawdust from the maternal galleries.

When the larvae are born, they begin to feed on the phloem creating sinuous galleries very close to each other at the beginning. As the larvae grow, the galleries increase their diameter and separate from one another. The larval galleries are full of sawdust and compact excrement produced by the feeding, while the maternal galleries remain clean. When the larva reaches its maturity, it excavates a pupal chamber where it changes into an imago. It emerges on the outside through a bore hole that it has perforated in the bark, after a period of maturity on the inside of the pupal chamber.

The duration of the larval period is variable. If the temperature is between 15 and 25o C, normally a week goes by from egg laying to hatching. The larval period lasts approximately 20 days and the pupal stage a week. The cycle is usually completed in 35 days. Exceptionally, it can be completed in 15 days if the circumstances are favourable.

The new imagoes emerge ready to start the cycle again. When the temperatures begin to drop, between September and November, the adults group together in winter galleries where they stay during the coldest months. These winter galleries are a different shape, they are more irregular. They group together causing the bark to lift up or even detach itself. Their activity starts again when the temperature rises, beginning their biological cycle anew.


In forests 1 CROSSTRAP® MINI should be placed every 20 ha, separated at least 1000 m from each other. In surfaces less than 20 ha at least one trap should be placed per stand or forest. The traps should be placed in areas with good visibility, such as forest borders, forest trails or fire-breaks. Windy places should be avoided, as the wind complicates the insects’ flight and could damage the traps.

A detection trap system should cover the environmental variability of the monitored forest. As a rule, traps should be placed and active between May and October.

Wet captures are recommended because they allow for the precise identification of the captures. For this purpose, fill the collection cups with 10 ml of diluted propylene glycol (10 to 20%) or with antifreeze for the car. This liquid is used for killing the captured insects as well as preserving them. It must not be dissolved too much with the rainwater, in which case it should be replaced. It is recommended to collect the captured insects at least every 15 days.


For exhaustive monitoring, the traps should be placed between 100 and 500 metres apart from each other in forest trails, fire-breaks or forest borders.

This means a density of 0.3 to 3 CROSSTRAP® MINI per ha. They can also be placed inside the forest, as long as it is not too dense. Dry captures are recommended for exhaustive monitoring using the slippery collection cup with a stainless steel mesh on the base.


CROSSTRAP® MINI and ECONEX ORTHOTOMICUS EROSUS 60 DAYS pheromone diffuser (Code: VA189) hang on the trap using one of the lateral holes on the vanes of the trap.

ECONEX ORTHOTOMICUS EROSUS 60 DAYS is an aggregation pheromone diffuser to attract males and females of Orthotomicus erosus. The diffuser is in a blister pack and individually packaged in an aluminium sachet with label specifications. It lasts 60 days in field conditions. The pack includes 1 hanger in the form of a clip to hang the diffuser on the trap. Once removed from its packaging, the diffuser needs no activation or opening, just placed correctly in the trap.

8.75 € (excl. VAT)

CROSSTRAP® MINI is a state-of-the-art forest trap. This trap has been created through an R + D project (University of Murcia – ECONEX) aimed at developing traps and attractants for forest insects.

The trap consists of a 33 cm diameter polypropylene lid with a central carabiner attached to a steel spring. Two reinforced PVC vanes are held in place by four steel springs in the lid’s upper section. They are used as elements of dynamic suspension, serving as shock-absorbers against the force of the wind exerted on the trap, avoiding its breakage in the forest. The vanes are also fixed to the lower part of a 30 cm diameter polypropylene funnel. The collection cup is fixed to the lower part of the funnel by screws.

The vanes, funnel and collection cup are treated with a slippery product that increases the amount of captures considerably, also preventing the insects from escaping.

CROSSTRAP® MINI can last up to 7 years due to its structure and highly resistant components. The unfolded trap measures 33 cm diameter x 100 cm high. Once folded, it is 33 cm diameter x 40 cm high, making its transport easier.

48.27 € (excl. VAT) 48.27 € (excl. VAT)

The trap can be used with two types of collection cup: CROSSTRAP® WET COLLECTION CUP for wet captures (with liquid), and CROSSTRAP® DRY COLLECTION CUP for live captures (without liquid).

CROSSTRAP® WET COLLECTION CUP (Code: TA156) has an approximate capacity of 2 litres and a drain in the upper section to prevent it from filling with rainwater.  It measures 12.5 cm diameter x 19 cm high and has a slippery product to prevent the captured insects from escaping.

CROSSTRAP® DRY COLLECTION CUP (Code: TA157) has the same capacity and measurements as the CROSSTRAP® WET COLLECTION CUP but it has a base made of stainless steel mesh that drains away the rainwater 100% and eases air circulation.

5.61 € (excl. VAT) 7.11 € (excl. VAT)


When the larvae feed on the phloem, they block the circulation of water and nutrients with their galleries in the tree. As a rule, Orthotomicus erosus attacks very weak trees but that are still alive. Sometimes, in areas where the forest is in an extreme state of decline, behaviours of an aggressive insect have been detected. Therefore, they are capable of colonising apparently healthy trees.

At first, the pine trees that have been affected, turn a yellowish colour in the upper part of the crown until finally reaching the lower branches of the tree. The dark sawdust of the galleries is a very common sight, having been evacuated during mass attacks.

Orthotomicus erosus is a transmitter of the blue Sapstain fungus which, in addition to the direct damage to the tree, causes losses to wood.


They must be stored in their original packaging in a cool place.

To preserve the diffusers for long periods of time, it is recommended to keep them in the refrigerator at 4o C; or in the freezer at -18o C, in which case they will last for 2 and 4 years respectively.


Corrugated cardboard box of 300 units (60 packs of 5 units).
Box size: 0.38×0.38×0.37 m (length x width x height).
Box weight: 6.300 kg.
No. of boxes per pallet: 30.
Pallet size: 1.20×0.80×1.90 m (length x width x height).
Pallet weight: 199 kg.

Recommended information:


Catalogue in PDF format with 94 pages. It is an essential reference book about the biological behaviours of the main forest insect populations. It also includes ECONEX solutions to solve the problems caused by these insects through the use of traps and specific attractants.



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