Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora show promise for biological control of the curculionid fruit pest, plum curculio (PC). In Utah, PC is a quarantine pest predominantly found in home yard, wild and neglected fruit trees. Field control with entomopathogenic nematodes would target soil treatments under infested trees to suppress populations, especially in sites not conducive to chemical controls. The LC50 for both species of nematode were similar, approximately 1.5 million infective juveniles per square meter, when targeting prepupae of the southern strain of plum curculio (maintained as a lab colony). Neither nematode was efficacious on pupae and teneral adults. Mixed inoculum of both nematode species was as efficacious as either species alone. Mortality of northern strain PC prepupae collected from field sites in Utah following infection with Steinernema feltiae was similar to that for the southern strain in lab bioassays. Field bioassay results are preliminary, but efficacy of S. feltiae declined by more than half as compared to lab bioassays.
Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae Conotrachelus nenuphar (Plum curculio)
Keywords: biological control, fruit entomology
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