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Management of Pest Mole Crickets in Florida and Puerto Rico with a Nematode and Parasitic Wasp N. C. Leppla, J. H. Frank and M. B. Adjei Scapteriscus didactylus, the “West Indian mole cricket” or “changa,” probably arrived in the West Indies by flying from South America hundreds of years ago

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Management of Pest Mole Crickets

in Florida and Puerto Rico with

a Nematode and Parasitic Wasp

N. C. Leppla, J. H. Frank and M. B. Adjei

slide2

Scapteriscus didactylus, the “West Indian mole cricket” or “changa,” probably arrived in the West Indies by flying from South America hundreds of years ago

slide3

Scapteriscus abbreviatus, the “short-winged mole cricket,” occurs in Puerto Rico and a few other islands, and probably arrived in ship ballast~ this species cannot fly and is only a minor problem

slide6

Damage to a Florida golf course by the South American mole cricket, Scapteriscus vicinus

J.P. Parkman-UF,IFAS

chemical control
Mole cricket damage and chemical pesticides for control cost an estimated 100 million dollars in the Southeastern US annually

Chemicals are too expensive for use on pasture land

Mole crickets rebound in most treated areas

Concern about non-target effects of chemicals

Chemical Control

www.pesticidereform.org

biological control alternative
A two pronged approach

Parasitic nematode Steinernema scapterisci

Parasitic Wasp- Larra bicolor

Biological Control Alternative
slide10

Steinernematid Life Cycle

penetration

free-livingnematodes

exit the cadaver and are temporarily free-living

juveniles develop in the host body

produce eggs

sexualmaturation

mole cricket state program

Mole Cricket State Program

Objective: To conduct research/demonstration projects that will widely distribute the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema scapterisci, in Florida; determine its establishment, rate of spread and impact on Scapteriscus spp. mole crickets, and support its commercialization

nematode applications
Nematac S

80 billion nematodes

32 counties

Education & training

Nematode diagnostics

Nematode survey

Refined methods

Establish & Spread

Nematode applications
mole cricket nematode in florida
Mole Cricket Nematode in Florida
  • 6 months- 80% mole crickets infected
  • 1 year- infected mole crickets spread nematodes across the pasture
  • 3 years-
      • 85% decline in mole crickets
      • 40-95% recovery of bahiagrass
      • 20-35% infected mole crickets
mole cricket nematode project in puerto rico

Mole Cricket Nematode Project In Puerto Rico

Apply Nematac S in appropriate habitats

Survey for entomopathogenic nematodes

Adapt release and evaluation methods

Demonstrate establishment and spread

Determine the impact on pest mole crickets

biological control of mole crickets in puerto rico by the nematode
Biological Control of Mole Crickets in Puerto Rico by the Nematode
  • Scapteriscus didactylus, was trapped at the golf course and organic garden
  • Scapteriscusabbreviatus was also discovered at the organic garden
  • Mole crickets captured at the golf course contained Steinernema scapterisci
  • Steinernema scapterisci became established at the golf course and killed S. didactylus
  • Mole crickets from the organic garden were not infected
biological control of mole crickets in florida puerto rico by the wasp
Biological Control of Mole Crickets in Florida & Puerto Rico by the Wasp
  • Parasitism of Scapteriscus vicinus 24% near Gainesville, Florida
  • Wasp in 22 Florida counties by natural spread and releases
  • Larra bicolor feeds at nectaries of 4 plants plus Spermacoce verticillata
  • Spermacoce verticillata plots provided near mole cricket infestations
  • Cooperators watch for wasps feeding on the flowers
  • Wasp may function additively with the nematode
management of pest mole crickets in florida and puerto rico
Management of Pest Mole Crickets in Florida and Puerto Rico
  • Established the nematode and wasp
  • Determined that they are effective
  • Provided economical mole cricket control

We have shown that biological control offers long-term, cost effective mole cricket management

slide29

Leppla, Frank & Adjei

Any Questions?

http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu