Three entomopathogenic (insect killing) nematode species tested in laboratory and field experiments in Hungary significantly reduced the number of D. v. virgifera. The species Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and H. megidis were particularly promising in reducing the damage to maize roots, when applied both at the time maize was sown or later in June. Both nematodes survived more than two months in the soil, which was long enough to I effectively killed all three larval instars (life-stages) and pupae of the pest. Applied using fluid solid stream sprays into soil at sowing, or fluid narrow flat fan sprays applied with lots of water later over small maize plants, the average root damage was reduced by 60–96%.
Results and knowledge generated by this project are currently being taken further by industry partners and another project financed by the LTZ Stuttgart of Germany. With the recent banning of many insecticides for seed coatings due to their toxicity to bees, farmers urgently need an alternative product, such as a biological control product based on nematodes. As a follow-up, CABI is currently acting as an independent consultancy expert for the potential implementation of the biological product in southern Germany.
You may be interested in the following titles:
Vidal, S., Kuhlmann, U. & Edwards, C. R. (2005) Western corn rootworm: ecology and management. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK
Gaugler, R. (2002) Entomopathogenic nematology CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK
Grewal, P. S. Ehlers, R. U. Shapiro-Ilan, D. I. (2005) Nematodes as biocontrol agents.
CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK