Extension Entomologist Dr. Pat porter notes that persistent entomopathogenic nematodes have remained effective for many years in New York after just one application, and our data from Texas suggest that will be the case here. While initially deployed for corn rootworm control, this technology shows promise for some of our other serious soil-dwelling pests like grubs in wheat and wireworms in several crops.
Our research on these pests is in the planning stages. Also, the whitefringed beetle is a major pest of alfalfa in New Mexico and we are working with New Mexico State University to investigate control with nematodes. This will likely be successful since whitefringed beetle is a relative of the beetle in New York alfalfa that has been brought under control with this same nematode technology.
The corn rootworm control project has opened the door to potential low cost, successful biological control in other crops. In corn it has given us a third line of defense against corn rootworm after Bt transgenic crops and soil applied insecticides.