In the Western Cape province of South Africa, codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is the most important lepidopteran pest of apples and pears. Currently an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy is followed. However, chemical control still plays an important role in the control of this pest. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) of the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae have been successfully utilized as biological control agents in classical, conservation, and augmentative insect pest management programmes. In this review different biological control options for control of codling moth are considered, with special emphasis on research being done on the biological control of codling moth using EPNs. To integrate nematodes into an IPM system, it is important to conduct research under local environmental conditions for a specific crop. Application of EPNs against codling moth will target the diapausing larval overwintering population above-ground. Especially for commercial application, the unique environmental conditions in the various production areas need to be assessed to allow for the effective use of various EPN species. Orchard application, onto trees poses its own unique challenges with regard to the inundative application of EPNs. Research on the use of EPNs to control codling moth and obstacles encountered in the success of codling moth control are discussed.
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Vol. 23 • No. 2