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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Do Entomopathogenic Nematodes Have Potential As Biological Control Agents of Stored Product Insects?

item Campbell, James
item Ramos-Rodriguez, Ogaly - KANSAS STATE UNIV
item Ramaswamy, Sonny - KANSAS STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Society for Invertebrate Pathology Meeting
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 2005
Publication Date: August 11, 2005
Citation: Campbell, J.F., Ramos-Rodriguez, O., Ramaswamy, S. 2005. Do entomopathogenic nematodes have potential as biological control agents of stored product insects? [abstract]. Society for Invertebrate Pathology Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, August 7-11, 2005.

Technical Abstract: Entomopathogenic nematodes at first appear poorly adapted for use as biological control agents against insects that infest grain and processed grain-based products. However, the population structure and movement patterns of stored product insects indicate that in many environments pests originating from food material that accumulates in hidden refugia -- such as cracks or crevices in structures, empty grain bins, spillage outside facilities -- and subsequent movement into stored commodities can be important factors in product infestation. Biological control in general, and entomopathogenic nematodes in particular, may be an effective component of an IPM program when targeted at these refugia populations. We evaluated the efficacy of three Steinernema spp. against a range of stored product pest species and stages under laboratory conditions and found many pest species were susceptible. Tests of S. riobrave pathogenicity as a biopesticide under simulated field conditions, suggested that nematodes applied in a manner similar to some conventional chemical pesticides had a sufficient window of time to find and infect insects. Further research to enhance efficacy, evaluate range of field situations where nematodes might be used, and determine the impact of refugia treatments on overall pest population levels is still needed.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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