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J Econ Entomol. 1999 Jun;92(3):651-7.

Entomopathogenic nematodes to control black vine weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on strawberry.

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Department of Extension Specialists, Cook College, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick 08901-8525, USA.


We investigated the potential of heterorhabditid nematodes to control larvae of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (F.), in 2 field experiments in commercial strawberry plantings. In both experiments, nematodes were applied directly onto the straw mulch, or onto the soil after temporary removal of the mulch. Heterorhabditis marelatus Lui & Berry (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) reduced numbers of weevil larvae and the percentage of plants infested in both experiments, irrespective of straw removal. In the 1st field experiment, a sponge-packed H. marelatus formulation produced lower numbers of O. sulcatus larvae per strawberry plant (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.7) and proportion of infested plants (42%) compared with a vermiculite formulation (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 1.8, proportion infested plants 67%) and an untreated control (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 1.9, proportion infested plants 75%). In the first 2 wk after application, more H. marelatus were found in soil samples collected from plots treated with sponge-packed nematodes, than from plots treated with vermiculite-formulated nematodes. In the 2nd field experiment, sponge-packed formulations of H. bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) and H. marelatus were tested. H. marelatus caused a reduction in both numbers of weevil larvae (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.1) and proportion of infested plants (9%) but H. bacteriophora did not (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.45, proportion infested plants 34%). More H. bacteriophora were recovered from soil samples than H. marelatus during the first 7 d of this experiment. However, laboratory studies revealed no difference in the persistence of these 2 nematodes in sand.

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