Pesticide compatibility and alternative flushing methods for monitoring nematode-infected mole crickets
Kathryn Barbara, email@example.com and Eileen Buss, firstname.lastname@example.org. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Entomology & Nematology Department, Gainsville, FL
Mole crickets (Scapteriscus spp.) are the most damaging insect pests of managed turfgrass and pastures in the southeastern United States. Although insecticides often provide effective short-term control, greater long-term suppression of mole crickets using natural enemies, such as Steinernema scapterisci Nguyen&Smart, is needed. Mole cricket populations are currently monitored using soap flushes, however, soap may kill these nematodes and produce false negatives when determining the percentage of mole crickets infected. We evaluated the effect of several alternative flushing solutions on nematode survival and infectivity, as well as their effectiveness in flushing mole crickets in the field. We also examined the compatibility of several common mole cricket pesticides with S. scapterisci. None of the pesticides tested had deleterious effects on S. scapterisci survival or infectivity. The avoidance behavior of mole crickets when exposed to S. scapterisci, pesticides, or the combination was also evaluated using observation arena and y-tube tests.