Biological Control of Mole Crickets

Three biological control agents have been used against Neoscapteriscus mole crickets in Florida. They are Larra bicolor, which is a crabronid wasp, Ormia depleta, which is a tachinid fly commonly called the Brazilian red-eye fly, both classical biological control agents, and Steinernema scapterisci, a steinernematid nematode that functions as a biopesticide with residual activity. Trials of Ormia depleta and Steinernema scapterisci have been and are being conducted in other southeastern states. Trials of other Steinernema species have been conducted, but these have not so far been noted to provide any residual activity, so are inferior. Larra bicolor is used in Puerto Rico, and Larra polita is used in Hawaii, both as classical biological control agents. Steinernema scapterisci and/or Ormia depleta might prove useful in Puerto Rico. Other potential biological control agents have received various levels of attention and, if there is funding for research and development, may reach the point of usefulness in the field.

Steinernema scapterisci was commercially available as NematacTM S, under a license from the University of Florida.

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