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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT FOR KEY PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Application technology for entomopathogenic nematodes

Authors
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Claudia, Dolinski -

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 24, 2011
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Claudia, D. 2011. Application technology for entomopathogenic nematodes [abstract]. Journal of Nematology. 43:279-280.

Interpretive Summary: Entomopathogenic nematodes are small round worms that can be used a natural and environmentally friendly biopesticides. These nematodes only attack insects and should not be confused with harmful nematodes such as those that attack plants. Diverse technology is available for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes. Application usually consists of nematode distribution via aqueous suspension in various irrigation systems and spray equipment. The choice of application equipment, and method in which the nematodes are applied, can have a substantial impact on pest control efficacy. In addition to application equipment, a variety of other abiotic and biotic factors are of significant concern. The rate of application is critical; in general, a rate of 25 infective juvenile nematodes per cm2 is required for successful pest suppression. Important environmental factors include an adversity to ultraviolet light, and the need for adequate soil moisture and appropriate temperature. Other agricultural inputs including fertilizers, chemical pesticides and biotic agents (e.g., other biopesticides) can have positive effects on the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes, whereas other agents may have neutral or negative effects. In general above ground applications have been less successful than soil applications due to environmental degradation in the former, but recent research indicates some promise in certain above ground approaches. Further innovation in application technology will undoubtedly contribute to the expansion of entomopathogenic nematodes as biocontrol agents. For example, novel approaches to application can include distribution of nematodes in their infected hosts, new formulation technology, or prophylactic measures that achieve economic feasibility.

Technical Abstract: Diverse technology is available for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes. Application usually consists of nematode distribution via aqueous suspension in various irrigation systems and spray equipment. The choice of application equipment, and method in which the nematodes are applied, can have a substantial impact on pest control efficacy. In addition to application equipment, a variety of other abiotic and biotic factors are of significant concern. The rate of application is critical; in general, a rate of 25 infective juvenile nematodes per cm2 is required for successful pest suppression. Important environmental factors include an adversity to ultraviolet light, and the need for adequate soil moisture and appropriate temperature. Other agricultural inputs including fertilizers, chemical pesticides and biotic agents (e.g., other biopesticides) can have positive effects on the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes, whereas other agents may have neutral or negative effects. In general aboveground applications have been less successful than soil applications due to environmental degradation in the former, but recent research indicates some promise in certain aboveground approaches. Further innovation in application technology will undoubtedly contribute to the expansion of entomopathogenic nematodes as biocontrol agents. For example, novel approaches to application can include distribution of nematodes in their infected hosts, new formulation technology, or prophylactic measures that achieve economic feasibility.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014