Feb 5, 2015
Nematodes have potential to control SWD in strawberries

Could predaceous nematodes be the key to stopping spotted wing drosophila (SWD)?

Mark Bolda and Denise Sheehan, Extension advisers with the University of California, are studying the use of nematodes to combat SWD and vinegar flies, which have proven difficult to control in strawberry through conventional means (the use of insecticides and cultural management), according to Bolda.

Bolda discussed the research during the 8th North American Strawberry Symposium & North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA) Annual Conference in Ventura, California, Feb. 5. The NASGA-funded study is taking a “novel approach” by using two rates (250 million per acre and 2 billion per acre) of the predaceous nematode Steinernema carpocapsae, compared with a conventional pyrethroid insecticide and a commercial formulation of Beauveria bassiana, according to Bolda.

Bolda's presentation noted that the highest rate of S. carpocapsae resulted in significant levels of reduction of both adult flies and eggs compared to the untreated control and “provides a platform for further study.” Look for more information about this study in future issues of VGN and FGN.

Matt Milkovich


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