Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Native insecticidal nematodes as an alternative for control of urban pests

The overall goal of this project is to develop an alternative tool for use in urban integrated pest management systems. Use of native entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) as a substitute for chemical pesticides for control of pests is not a novel idea, but many urban pest species have at best anecdotal information with regard to efficacy. This project will: 1) determine the optimum nematode species/strain (in relation to pest species,) and dosage for the management of selected urban pests in Arizona (concentrating on subterranean termite and ant species); 2) evaluate the effect of environmental parameters (e.g. temperature, soil moisture, UV tolerance) on nematode efficacy (i.e. virulence and reproductive potential); 3) evaluate EPN efficacy with or without synergistic chemical/biological insecticides; 4) assess compatibility of nematodes with other IPM tactics. The accomplishment of the proposed objectives will help selection of the most efficacious native EPN strains and the identification of factors influencing their success against the targeted pests. In addition, this project will develop statewide multi-location demonstration trials on effectiveness of nematodes against selected pests, and develop extension materials and conduct training workshops on the optimal use of insecticidal nematodes.

For more information:

Dr. Patricia Stock, spstock@ag.arizona.edu

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