Open Access

Entomopathogenic nematode management of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) in three native Alabama soils under low moisture conditions


The goal was to determine the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) on Aethina tumida small hive beetle (SHB) in Alabama soils. The objectives were to (i) determine the pupation success of SHB wandering larvae; (ii) determine the efficacy of EPNs on SHB wandering larvae in natural and autoclaved soil; and (iii) determine the efficacy of EPNs on SHB wandering larvae in three Alabama soil types at typical low moisture levels. The Alabama soils were Kalmia loamy sand (KLS), Benndale fine sandy loam (BFSL), and Decatur silt loam (DSL). Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, H. indica, Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, S. kraussei, and S. riobrave were tested at population densities of 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 third-stage infective EPN juveniles (IJ3) per 130 cm3 soil. Pupation success in SHB population densities of 5, 10, and 20 wandering larvae per Petri dish were similar. Of the six EPN species, S. carpocapsae achieved the highest efficacy across all EPN population densities in both natural and autoclaved soil. Steinernema riobrave and H. indica achieved the next highest efficacies; however, they were significantly less effective than S. carpocapsae. Steinernema carpocapsae parasitized 87% SHB wandering larvae across all population densities tested. Steinernema carpocapsae achieved the best efficacy colonizing 94% of the SHB in the KLS soil, 80% in the BFSL soil, and 47% in the DSL soil. In conclusions, S. carpocapsae is be a promising biological control EPN to implement into a management system on SHB.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other