Key elements in the successful control of diapausing codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in wooden fruit bins with a South African isolate of Heterorhabditis zealandica (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae)
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The non-insecticidal control strategies currently being implemented in South African orchards for the control of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) may be hampered bywooden fruit bins being infested with diapausing codling moth larvae, acting as a potential source of re-infestation. Key factors contributing to the success or failure of an entomopathogenic nematode application were investigated using the SF 41 isolate of Heterorhabditis zealandica in laboratory bioassays with wooden minibins. Under operational conditions, an application rate of 100 IJs/mL (LD9=102 IJs/mL) effectively controlled codling moth larvae in these bins, and for further laboratory bioassays, the LD50 value of 18 IJs/mL (≈25 IJs/mL) was identified as the discriminating dosage. Maximum mortality was attained when bins were pre-wet for at least 1 min (>90% RH) and maintained at maximum humidity (>95% RH) post-treatment for at least 3 days (LT90=73 h), to ensure nematode survival and subsequent satisfactory infection of diapausing codling moth larvae. Tarping bins achieved the desired high level of humidity required. Furthermore, adjuvants (specifically Reverseal 10™) also improved an application. The study conclusively illustrated that if all the above-mentioned conditions are met, H. zealandica has the potential to successfully disinfest wooden fruit bins of codling moth.