Location: Stored Product Insect Research Unit
Title: Perspectives for Biological Control of Stored-Product Pests Using Entomopathogens, Alone and in Combination with Beneficial Insects Author
Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2005
Publication Date: April 15, 2006
Citation: Lord, J.C. 2006. Perspectives for biological control of stored-product pests using entomopathogens, alone and in combination with beneficial insects. In Proceedings of the 6th meeting of COST Action 842 Working Group IV, Biocontrol of Arthropod Pests in Stored Products, June 10-11, 2005, Locorotondo, Italy. p. 1-16. Technical Abstract: Among insect pathogens, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk) and Plodia interpunctella granulovirus have reached commercialization for control of stored product Lepidoptera, but have limited use. Coleoptera lack microbial insecticide products but have many natural microbial control agents, especially among Protozoa and Microspora. Deuteromycete entomopathogenic fungi infect insects across orders, including beneficial Hymenoptera, with varying efficacy. Beauveria bassiana is emerging as the most promising mycoinsecticide for stored-product insects, along with Metarhizium anisopliae. Efficacy can be increased with synergies, such as with desiccant dusts. Surprisingly, environmental desiccation can also increase efficacy in some cases. Nonspecific fungi are not compatible with beneficial wasps. Protozoa in the genus Mattesia also infect both pest insects and parasitoid wasps, but infected wasps survive for several weeks and can serve as dispersal agents. Thus, while they are not viable commercial pest control agents because in vitro production of Mattesia spp. has not been achieved, they may be valuable natural controls worthy of conservation and introductions.