False codling moth (FCM), Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is an important pest of various fruit crops in South Africa. Current FCM control strategies include the use of chemical insecticides. However, FCM has developed resistance to some of the insecticides, and stringent chemical residue restrictions have been imposed by some foreign markets. Thus, the demand for high-quality fruit has translated into a need for new, efficient and effective integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. One such strategy is the control of the soil-dwelling life stages of FCM, using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and entomopathogenic fungi (EPF). Both of the biocontrol agents concerned have individually been shown to be effective against FCM. However, it is possible that, if they are applied simultaneously, a synergistic relationship might be observed between EPNs and EPF that could serve to enhance their efficacy against the target pest. In addition to reviewing previous and current control options against FCM in South African fruit crops, this study investigates the potential for using EPNs and EPF individually, and in combination, as biological control agents against FCM within an IPM system.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1