Location: Fruit and Tree Nut ResearchTitle: Considerations for Applying Beneficial Nematodes for Insect Pest Control
Submitted to: Pecan South
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Pecan weevil is an important pest in pecan. Broad spectrum chemical insecticides used to control pecan weevil (Curculio caryae) can harm the environment and cause flare-up of pecan aphids. Beneficial nematodes (also known as entomopathogenic nematodes) are effective in killing ground-dwelling stages of pecan weevil but are safe to humans and the environment. The use of beneficial nematodes is compatible with organic pest control approaches. This article describes methods and considerations for applying beneficial nematodes. Like many biological control agents, some special considerations for applying beneficial nematodes are necessary such as appropriate temperatures, soil moisture, and avoidance of UV light. Beneficial nematodes can be applied using standard agricultural equipment such as sprayers and irrigation systems. If applied properly to the soil, beneficial nematodes offer a safe and effective way to kill pecan weevil before the insect can emerge and cause damage to the crop.