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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mbata, George
item Shapiro Ilan, David

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Mbata, G.N., Shapiro Ilan, D.I. 2005. Laboratory evaluation of virulence of heterorhabditid nematodes to plodia interpunctella hubner (Lepidoptera: pyralidae). Environmental Entomology. 34:676-682.

Interpretive Summary: Insect-killing nematodes are small round worms that kill insect pests but don't harm people or the environment. It may be possible to use these nematodes to control serious pests of stored products such as the Indianmeal moth. In the laboratory, we tested the ability of seven nematode species and strains to kill larvae and adult Indianmeal moths. The nematodes, particularly three heterorhabditid species were found to be quite virulent to Indianmeal moths; adults insects appeared to be more susceptible to infection than larvae. Further research is required to test the ability of these nematodes to control Indianmeal moth in storage facilities.

Technical Abstract: The Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hubner), is a cosmopolitan pest of stored products, infesting most commodities in warehouses and grain bins. We investigated the susceptibility of Indianmeal moth adults and larvae to seven entomopathogenic nematode species and strains. The nematodes investigated were Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (HP88, Lewiston, and Oswego strains); H. indica Poinar, Karunakar, and David (Homl strain); H. marelatus Liu and Berry (Point Reyes strain); H. megidis Poinar, Jackson, and Klein (UK211 strain); and H. zealandica Poinar (NZH3 strain). Overall, the nematodes that had the highest virulence to larvae and adults of Indianmeal moth were H. indica, H. megidis and H. marelatus. Adult Indianmeal moths appeared to be more susceptible than the larvae, and egg laying was substantially affected by exposure to all nematode strains. We conclude that H. indica, H. megidis and H. marelatus should be investigated further as potential biocontrol agents of Indianmeal moth in stored grains and processed commodities.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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