Effect of humidity and a superabsorbent polymer formulation on the efficacy of Heterorhabditis zealandica (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) to control codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
The original publication is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cbst20/current#.UrPeI7QgrZd
Adequate moisture levels are required for nematode survival and subsequent efficacy as entomopathogens. Formulation of nematodes aimed at aboveground applications may assist in maintaining such moisture levels. In this study, we report the effects of a superabsorbent polymer formulation, Zeba® on the performance of an entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis zealandica Poinar, for controlling diapausing codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) larvae in cryptic habitats on trees. Water activity (aw-value) on bark was considered to be an indication of moisture levels on trees in cryptic habitats where codling moth larvae are known to occur, thereby influencing nematode efficacy. H. zealandica was only able to infect codling moth larvae at aw≥0.92, with aw50=0.94 and aw90=0.96.