Fruit bins infested with diapausing codling moth larvae, Cydia pomonella (L.), are a potential source of reinfestation of orchards and may jeopardize the success of mating disruption programs and other control strategies. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) were tested as a potential means of control that could be applied at the time bins are submerged in dump tanks. Diapausing cocooned codling moth larvae in miniature fruit bins were highly susceptible to infective juveniles (IJs) of Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) and Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev) in a series of experiments. Cocooned larvae are significantly more susceptible to infection than are pupae. Experimental treatment of bins in suspensions of laboratory produced S. feltiae ranging from 10 to 100 IJs/ml of water with wetting agent (Silwet L77) resulted in 51–92% mortality. The use of adjuvants to increase penetration of hibernacula and retard desiccation of S. feltiae in fruit bins resulted in improved efficacy. The combination of a wetting agent (Silwet L77) and humectant (Stockosorb) with 10 S. feltiae IJs/ml in low and high humidity resulted in 92–95% mortality of cocooned codling moth larvae versus 46–57% mortality at the same IJ concentration without adjuvants. Immersion of infested bins in suspensions of commercially produced nematodes ranging from 10 to 50 IJs/ml water with wetting agent in an experimental packing line resulted in mortality in cocooned codling moth larvae of 45–87 and 56–85% for S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae, respectively. Our results indicate that EPNs provide an alternative nonchemical means of control that could be applied at the time bins are submerged in dump tanks at the packing house for flotation of fruit.
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