The Swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii Kieffer, is an economically significant pest of cruciferous crops in Canada and the northeastern United States. The effect of temperature on the virulence of three entomopathogenic nematode species, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema carpocapsae, and Steinernema feltiae, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum, and a H. bacteriophora M. brunneum combination treatment to C. nasturtii larvae, pupae, and cocoons was investigated. In the laboratory, all three nematode species successfully reproduced inside C. nasturtii larvae: H. bacteriophora produced the highest number of infective juveniles per larva, followed by S. carpocapsae and S. feltiae. H. bacteriophora and the H. bacteriophora M. brunneum combination treatment generally caused the highest mortality levels to all C. nasturtii life stages at 20°C and 25°C, whereas S. feltiae caused the highest mortality to larvae and pupae at 16°C. No nematode species caused significant mortality when applied in foliar treatments to the infested host plant meristem and, in spite of high mortality, an antagonistic interaction was observed in the H. bacteriophora M. brunneum combination treatment when compared with expected mortality. In trials conducted in broccoli fields in Elora, Ontario, M. brunneum suppressed adult emergence of C. nasturtii from infested soil in 2012 and all nematode treatments successfully suppressed adult emergence in 2013; however, no significant effects were observed in field trials conducted in Baden, Ontario.
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Vol. 108 • No. 2