Entomopathogenic nematodes to control black vine weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on strawberry

Michael Wilson, Peter Nitzsche, Peter W. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We investigated the potential of heterorhabditid nematodes to control larvae of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (F.), in 2 field experiments in commercial strawberry plantings. In both experiments, nematodes were applied directly onto the straw mulch, or onto the soil after temporary removal of the mulch. Heterorhabditis marelatus Lui and Berry (Rhabditida; Heterorhabditidae) reduced numbers of weevil larvae and the percentage of plants infested in both experiments, irrespective of straw removal. In the 1st field experiment, a sponge-packed H. marelatus formulation produced lower numbers of O. sulcatus larvae per strawberry plant (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.7) and proportion of infested plants (42%) compared with a vermiculite formulation (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 1.8, proportion infested plants 67%) and an untreated control (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 1.9, proportion infested plants 75%). In the first 2 wk after application, more H. marelatus were found in soil samples collected from plots treated with sponge-packed nematodes, than from plots treated with vermiculite-formulated nematodes. In the 2nd field experiment, sponge-packed formulations of H. bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) and H. marelatus were tested. H. marelatus caused a reduction in both numbers of weevil larvae (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.1) and proportion of infested plants (9%) but H. bacteriophora did not (mean O. sulcatus larvae per plant = 0.45, proportion infested plants 34%). More H. bacteriophora were recovered from soil samples than H. marelatus during the first 7 d of this experiment. However, laboratory studies revealed no difference in the persistence of these 2 nematodes in sand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


  • Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
  • Heterorhabditis marelatus
  • Nematoda
  • Otiorhynchus sulcatus
  • Straw
  • Strawberries


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