Important facts of beneficial entomopathogenic Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes- BugsForGrowers.com
Beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes are active at many temperatures but most effective against many insect pests at temperatures ranging from 22 to 28°C (72°F – 82°F). This nematode is an “ambush forager”, which means it uses a sit-and-wait strategy meaning it stands on its tail in an upright position and attacks highly mobile insects such as billbugs, sod webworms, cutworms and armyworms. Infective juveniles always carry symbiotic bacteria, Xenorhabdus nematophila in their gut and use them as a weapon to kill their insect host. When the infective juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae are applied to the soil surface in the fields or thatch layer on golf courses, they start searching for their insect hosts. This nematode also can find and kill its host beneath soil surface. Once insect larva has been located, the nematode infective juveniles penetrate into the larval body cavity via natural openings such as mouth, anus and spiracles. In the body cavity, infective juveniles release symbiotic bacteria, Xenorhabdus nematophila from their gut in insect blood where multiplying nematode-bacterium complex causes septicemia and kill their insect host usually within 24-48 hours after infection.
1. Beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes effective against the following pests
- Annual bluegrass weevil, Listronotus maculicollis
- Artichoke plume moth, Platyptilia carduidactyla
- Banana moth, Opogona sachari
- Banana root borer, Cosmopolites sordidus
- Billbugs (snout beetle), Sphenophorous parvulus, S. cicastriatus
- Black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus
- Borers, Synanthedon spp
- Cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis
- Cereal leaf beetles, Oulema melanopus
- Codling moth, Cydia pomonella
- Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea
- Corn rootworm, Diabrotica spp.
- Cranberry girdler, Chrysoteuchia topiaria
- Crane fly, Diptera: Tipulidae
- Cutworms, Agrotis spp. Amathes spp. Peridroma spp. Prodenia spp.
- Fall armyworms, Spodoptera frugipeda
- Filbertworm, Cydia latiferreana
- Hive beetle, Aethina tumida
- Iris borer, Macronoctua onusta
- Large pine weevil, Hylobius albietis
- Leafminers, Liriomyza spp.
- Lesser peachtree borer, Synanthedon pictipes
- Mole crickets, Scapteriscus spp.
- Navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella
- Red imported fire ant queens, Solenopsis invicta
- Red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus
- Shore flies, Scatella spp.
- Sod webworms, Crambus sp
- Sugar beet weevil, Temnorhinus mendicus
- Sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius
- The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata
- Tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta
2. How beneficial entomopathogenic Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes kill insect pests in the field or greenhouses
When the infective juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae are applied to the soil surface in the fields or thatch layer on golf courses, they start searching for their insect hosts. Generally, they use sit-and-wait strategy (ambush) by standing on its tail in an upright position to attack highly mobile insects on the soil surface but in some instances, this nematode can find and kill its host beneath soil surface.
Once insect larva has been located, the nematode infective juveniles penetrate into the larval body cavity via natural openings such as mouth, anus and spiracles and in some instances they can also enter through the host cuticle.
In the body cavity, infective juveniles release symbiotic bacteria, Xenorhabdus nematophila from their gut in insect blood where multiplying nematode-bacterium complex causes septicemia and kill their insect host usually within 24-48 hours after infection.
Also, nematodes feed on multiplying bacteria, mature into adults, reproduce and then emerge as infective juveniles from the host cadaver to seek new larvae in the soil and life cycle continues.
3. Why beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes used in organic gardens or fields?
- they are natural parasites of insect pests so they do not pollute or harm the environment
- they can kill their hosts rapidly within 24 – 28 hours after infection
- they have a broad range of insect hosts
- able to search for insect hosts actively, infect and kill them
- nematodes can easily reproduce inside the dead insects body and emerge as infective juvenile that start looking for new hosts to continue the life cycle in the soil after first application
- they can be easily applied using traditional insecticide spraying equipment
4. Why Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes are safer than traditional pesticides
- they do not damage plants
- can be used and applied around children and pets
- do not cause any harm to the personnel involved in their production and application
- food products are safe to handle and eat when they are treated with nematodes
- they do not harm humans, animals, beneficial insects (ie. honey bees), microbial communities and other beneficial nematodes
Research papers on effectiveness of Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes
- Batalla-Carrera, L., Morton, A. and Garcia-del-Pino, F. 2010. Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes against the tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta in laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Biocontrol. 55: 523-530.
- Chambers, U. Bruck, D.J., Olsen, J. and Walton, V.M. 2010. Control of overwintering filbertworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larvae with Steinernema carpocapsae. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103: 416-422.
- Dembilio, O., Llacer, E., de Altube, M.D.M. and Jacas, J.A. 2010. Field efficacy of imidacloprid and Steinernema carpocapsae in a chitosan formulation against the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Phoenix canariensis. Pest Management Science. 66: 365-370.
- Georgis, R., Koppenhofer, A.M., Lacey, L.A., Belair, G., Duncan, L.W., Grewal, P.S., Samish, M., Tan, L., Torr, P. and van Tol, R.W.H.M. 2006. Successes and failures in the use of parasitic nematodes for pest control. Biological Control. 38: 103-123.
- Laznik, Z., Toth, I., Lakatos, T., Vidrih, M. and Trdan, S. 2010. Oulema melanopus (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) adults are susceptible to entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida) attack: results from a laboratory study. Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection. 117: 30-32.
- Llacer, E., de Altube, M.M.M. and Jacas, J.A. 2009. Evaluation of the efficacy of Steinernema carpocapsae in a chitosan formulation against the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, in Phoenix canariensis. Biocontrol. 54: 559-565.
- McGraw, B.A., Vittumb, P.J. Cowlesc, R.S.and Koppenhoumlfera, A.M. 2010. Field evaluation of entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of the annual bluegrass weevil, Listronotus maculicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in golf course turfgrass. Journal Biocontrol Science and Technology. 20: 149-163.
- Negrisoli, A.S., Garcia, M.S., Negrisoli, C.R.C.B., Bernardi, D.and da Silva, A. 2010. Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabditida) and insecticide mixtures to control Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith, 1797) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in corn crops. Crop Protection. 29: 677-683.
- Rohde, C., Moino, A., da Silva, M.A.T., Carvalho, F.D.and Ferreira, C.S. 2010. Influence of soil temperature and moisture on the infectivity of entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae, Steinemematidae) against larvae of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). NeotropicaL Entomology. 39: 608-611.
- Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., Morales-Ramos, J.A., Rojas, M.G. and Tedders, W.L. 2010. Effects of a novel entomopathogenic nematode-infected host formulation on cadaver integrity, nematode yield, and suppression of Diaprepes abbreviatus and Aethina tumida. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 103: 103-108.
- Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., Cottrell, T.E., Mizell, R.F., Horton, D.L., Behle, R.W. and Dunlap, C.A. 2010. Efficacy of Steinernema carpocapsae for control of the lesser peachtree borer, Synanthedon pictipes: Improved aboveground suppression with a novel gel application. Biological Control. 54: 23-28.
- Zhang, L.K., Zhang, P.B., Cao, L. and Han, R.C. 2010. Susceptibility of red imported fire ant queens to the entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae All and S. scapterisci. Sociobiology. 55: 519-526.