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Press release - Thursday, December 18, 2014

“Flanders Diabrotica Task Force” has been created to manage the harmful Western corn rootworm

ILVO is now starting research on the beetle Diabrotica virgifera of ‘Western corn rootworm’. This very harmful beetle was detected earlier this summer in a few maize fields around the city of Zaventem, close to Brussels airport.

LCV agrofront FAVV semzabel phytofar UGent 

The insect is not (yet) present in the rest of the country. The recently-created working group “Flanders Diabrotica Task Force”, a combined effort of the Flemish Agrofront, ADLO, LCV, FAVV, Semzabel, Ghent University, Phytofar and ILVO, is examining the various possibilities for an integrated management of the Western corn rootworm. Ten years ago, the beetle was first detected in Belgium, and then successfully eliminated. In the intervening years, the beetle has disappeared from the quarantine list, but has now been detected again. Development of a successful management strategy for the Belgian situation depends on ILVO’s observations of the biological behavior of the beetle around here.


Greet Riebbels – – +32 9 272 25 05
Hans Casteels – – +32 9 272 24 56
Annie Demeyere – Flanders Government, Ag and Fisheries 
Guy Vandepoel – Flemish Farmers’ Association Boerenbond,