Optimal Control of Gypsy Moth Populations

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This study investigates an optimal strategy for the cost effective control of gypsy moth populations. Gypsy moth populations cycle between low sparse numbers to high outbreak levels and it is during the outbreak levels that the moths cause extensive damage to plant foliage which can lead to deforestation. Deforestation can result in significant economic damage to infested areas, and consequently, there have been many efforts to control moth populations. One effective method of control is the use of the biocontrol agent, Gypchek, but its production is costly. We develop a mathematical model which combines population dynamics and optimal control of the moth population to explore strategies by which the total cost of the gypsy moth problem (economic damage and cost of Gypchek) can be minimized.