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Optimizing the application method of entomopathogenic nematode suspension for biological control of large pine weevil Hylobius abietis

Kapranas, Apostolos, Malone, Ben, Quinn, Sarajane, O’Tuama, Padraig, Peters, Arne, Griffin, Christine T.
BioControl 2017 v.62 no.5 pp. 659-667
Heterorhabditis, Hylobius abietis, Steinernema carpocapsae, biological control, entomopathogenic nematodes, field experimentation, immatures, parasitism, soil, stumps
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are effective against the immature stages of the large pine weevil Hylobius abietis. In three field trials we compared the efficacy of the application method of EPN for weevil suppression below the suggested threshold of 20 weevils per stump: applying the EPN suspension in the top edges of the stumps (‘top’) vs. drenching the soil around stumps (‘standard’). For Steinernema carpocapsae, weevil suppression was below the targeted threshold only when suspension was applied in the standard way (two of the three sites). On the other hand, weevil suppression was provided in all three cases of ‘top’ application of Heterorhabditis downesi suspension, whereas suppression in ‘standard’ application was observed in one site. Percentage parasitism of developing weevils in relation to depth and distance help explain EPN movement post-application. Weevil suppression relative to suggested thresholds can be improved by altering the method of EPN application depending on the nematode species.