Field trials were conducted in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate the use of reusable wire nuts and nonreusable gelatin capsules for hand-infesting cornstalks with European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larvae. The reusable technique, which consists of a modified WingGard plastic wire connector (i.e., wire nut) as a containment device for larvae, was compared over three plant growth stages to a gelatin capsule technique. In 2005 and 2006, the wire nut technique resulted in significantly higher number of wire nuts still intact (i.e., undamaged, with or without a larva) on the stalk at 72 h after infestation compared with the gelatin capsule technique. In addition, the wire nut technique resulted in significantly higher number of tunnels per stalk compared with the gelatin capsule technique at all three corn growth stages during both years. In 2005, the mean ± SEM number of tunnels per stalk was 0.53 ± 0.03 in the wire nut technique compared with 0.13 ± 0.03 tunnels per stalk in the gelatin capsule technique. In 2006, the mean number of tunnels per stalk was 0.45 ± 0.03 in the wire nut technique compared with 0.08 ± 0.02 tunnels per stalk in the gelatin capsule technique. In addition, the relative net precision in the wire-nut technique was ≈2 times higher compared with the gelatin capsule technique.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6