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[SANET-MG] Factors limiting persistence of entomopathogenic nematodes

This article is interesting from a soil biology perspective.

It showed that surface applied parasitic nematodes (intended
to provide biological control of turf pests) were probably just
eaten up by local predators; i.e., mites and collembola.

When the parasitic nematodes (known as "entomopathogenic"
nematodes) were incorporated into the soil, they survived
much better.

It seems like another opportunity for compost tea research;
i.e., integrated delivery of parasitic nematodes with compost
teas, to enhance survivial and efficacy of the biological control

As a farmer or gardener who wants to use natural means
of pest control, you can use parasitic nematodes to control
pests like strawberry root weevil, sod webworms, cutworms,
flea beetles, and fungus gnats.

But when you spend all that money and time to rely on biocontrols,
you want them to be effective.

As you may be interested in what these parasitic nematodes
are all about, see this fantastic website that was also funded by

Insect Parasitic Nematodes


Steve Diver


Factors limiting short-term persistence of entomopathogenic nematodes

M. Wilson and R. Gaugler

Department of Entomology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Journal of Applied Entomology
Volume 128 Issue 4 Page 250  - May 2004




Entomopathogenic nematodes are commonly applied to soil and crops for
biocontrol of insects. Typically, when nematodes are applied,
recoverable numbers decline quickly. Because ultra-violet light is known
to kill entomopathogenic nematodes in the laboratory, many researchers
blame poor field persistence on the action of ultra-violet light. We
conducted a field experiment to test this hypothesis, using
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora applied to turf as a model system. We
compared persistence of surface-applied nematodes with
subsurface-applied nematodes and found no difference in persistence.
Numbers of potential nematode antagonists (mites and collembola) were
also monitored. Poor persistence was positively correlated with numbers
of mites and collembola in plots where nematodes were surface-applied,
but not in plots where they were subsurface-applied.


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