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EFSA concludes that cut roses are a gateway for the fake moth into the EU

Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA's Plant Health Panel carried out a quantitative pest risk assessment to assess whether the import of cut roses provides a pathway for the introduction of Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) into the EU.

The assessment was limited to the entry and establishment steps. A route model was used to assess how many individuals of T. leucotreta would survive and emerge as adults from commercial or domestic waste at a specific season in a climate-appropriate EU region.

This entryway model consisted of three components: a cut rose distribution model, a T. leucotreta development model, and a waste model. Four-time scenarios were considered, from the initial removal of cut roses to waste treatment (3, 7, 14, and 28 days). The estimated average number of adults escaping each year from imported cut roses in all climate-suitable NUTS2 regions of the EU ranged from 49,867 (90% uncertainty between 5,298 and 234,393) to 143,689 (90% uncertainty between 21,126 and 401,458) for the 3-day and 28-day scenarios.

Assuming that, on average, one successful mating occurs for every 435 escaping moths, the estimated average number of T. leucotreta females mated per year from cut roses imported into all EU climate-suitable NUTS2 regions would range from 115 (90% uncertainty between 12 and 538) to 330 (90% uncertainty between 49 and 923) for the 3 and 28-day scenarios.

Due to the extreme polyphagia of T. leucotreta, the establishment of this pest won't be limited by the availability of hosts. The assessment of climatic suitability, using a physiologically based demographic modeling approach, identified the coastline extending from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula to the Mediterranean as a suitable area for the establishment of T. leucotreta.

This evaluation indicates that cut roses provide a pathway for the introduction of T. leucotreta into the EU.

You can read the full report at the following link.


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