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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Superior Efficacy Observed in Entomopathogenic Nematodes Applied in Infected-Host Cadavers Compared with Application in Aqueous Suspension

Authors
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Lewis, Edwin - VIRGINIA TECH UNIV
item Tedders, Walter - H&T ALTERNATIVE CONTROLS
item Son, Youngsoo - VIRGINIA TECH UNIV

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2003
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Lewis, E.E., Tedders, W.L., Son, Y. 2003. Superior efficacy observed in entomopathogenic nematodes applied in infected-host cadavers compared with application in aqueous suspension. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 83:270-272.

Interpretive Summary: Insect-killing nematodes are small round worms that kill insect pests but don't harm people or the environment. Generally, these nematodes are applied in water by spraying them onto the target area. It may also be possible to apply the nematodes while they are inside the insect cadavers that they have killed. In this study, the two application methods were compared: application in dead insects Vs the normal method of applying nematodes in water. The ability of each of the application methods to control two important pests, the diaprepes root weevil, and the black vine weevil was tested in the greenhouse. In the diaprepes root weevil test, application of nematode infected insects consistently produced higher insect mortality than application in water; after one month none of the insects survived the application of insect cadavers. In the black vine weevil experiment, the cadaver application produced higher insect mortality than the application in water on one out of three sample dates, and the treatments were equal on the other sample dates. This study shows that application of nematodes in infected insect cadavers can be superior to the usual method of application.

Technical Abstract: Entomopathogenic nematodes (genera: Steinernema and Heterorhabditis) are commercially available biocontrol agents that are generally applied in aqueous suspension. It may also be possible to apply the nematodes in their infected insect hosts. In this study, the two application methods were compared: application in cadavers Vs aqueous. The ability of each of the application methods to control two important pests, Diaprepes abbreviatus and Otiorhynchus sulcatus, was tested in the greenhouse. In the D. abbreviatus test, application of infected cadavers consistently produced higher insect mortality than aqueous application; after one month none of the D. abbreviatus survived the application of infected cadavers. In the O. sulcatus experiment, the cadaver application produced higher insect mortality than aqueous application on one out of three sample dates, and the treatments were equal on the other sample dates. This study shows that application of nematodes in infected insect cadavers can be superior to the usual method of application.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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