Canadian Forest Service Publications

A survey on attitudes toward control of forest insects. 1998. MacDonald, H.; Nealis, V.G.; McKenney, D.W. The Forestry Chronicle 74(4): 552-560.

Year: 1998

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 5068

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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This paper reports a survey of residents of five communities in Ontario about their attitudes to the nature and control of infestations by two forest insect pests; the gypsy moth and the jack pine budworm. The survey results indicate that people feel they are generally familiar with both insects, but gypsy moth is more widely known. Despite the fact that respondents had different experiences with infestations, these differences did not noticeably influence attitudes towards control. Most respondents felt some control action was desirable. A biological pesticide was consistently preferred across all communities, however, respondents from communities affected by gypsy moth were more likely to prefer letting an infestation run its course than respondents from communities affected by jack pine budworm. In contrast, respondents from jack pine budworm communities were more likely to favour any type of pesticide - biological or chemical - than were respondents from gypsy moth communities. Despite widespread preference for the use of Bt, a biological pesticide, people were not willing to pay directly for this or any other management approach as they felt that responsibility for control rested elsewhere. An important underlying message is that if resource managers want the public to differentiate pest management options more critically, information programs likely need to more heavily stress the ecological and economic differences between insects.