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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pathogens for Control of Scarabs in North America

Author
item Klein, Michael

Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Scarabs are serious pests of turf, nursery and food crops throughout N. America, and are of quarantine concerns. Even though microorganisms play a natural role in suppression of scarabs, few are available for control programs. Viruses are important pathogens in some parts of the world, but are almost non existent in N. America. Several genera of protozoa, play a role in suppression of scarabs and are among the few agents infecting adult beetles, but they are unavailable commercially. Milky disease bacteria were the first microorganisms registered in the U.S., but their use has been severely limited by a lack of commercial products, the natural distribution of the bacteria and the slow and erratic performance of products in the field. Recently, the genus of these bacteria has been changed from Bacillus to Paenibacillus and the characteristic formation of parasporal bodies to separate species was shown to be unreliable. In addition, concerns have been raised about the release of a vancomycin resistant organism (P. popilliae in N. America) into the environment. Entomopathogenic nematodes, particularly those in the genus Heterorhabditis, are available for use against scarab larvae. The extent of their use in the future will depend on the availability of high quality products and dependable delivery systems to end users. The generalist insect killing fungi, Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. have a potential for increased use against scarabs. Tests using Japanese beetle traps, modified for autodissemination of fungus by adults to larvae, have been highly successful in the Azores and N. America. This delivery offers hope for using fungal pathogens in areas which are otherwise difficult to treat.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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