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Improved control of vine weevil in hardy ornamental nursery stock utilising entomopathogenic nematodes - HH3104SFV


The vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, is a serious pest of hardy ornamental nursery stock (HONS) in the UK. A staggering 70% of the total weight of insecticides applied to this commodity is attributable to the use of the organophosphate (OP), chlorpyrifos, to prevent vine weevil damage. As the loss of this chemical is likely as a result of the OP review, alternative options for vine weevil control are required. An increasing proportion of growers are now also using imidacloprid for general pest control to the extent that between 1995 and 1999 the area of glasshouse crops treated with this product increased by 63%.

An alternative to chemical control of this pest is offered by the use of the entomopathogenic nematodes. Several species have proven useful in the control of insect pests including the species Heterorhabditis megidis against vine weevil. Research overseas has shown that the use of related nematode species to control grubs in turfgrass is significantly enhanced through the simultaneous use of very low rates of the insecticide imidacloprid. Through the use of established nematology techniques laboratory and plant pot scale investigations will determine whether nematode efficacy can be significantly improved through the use of reduced rates of imidacloprid which are used to stress the larval stage of the pest. The project aims to determine whether a synergy exists between H. megidis and imidacloprid, and whether the potential for further exploitation of this approach could reliably increase the level of control achieved against this damaging pest whilst simultaneously reducing the use of chemical insecticides.


1. To determine the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes used against O. sulcatus and investigate their enhancement through strategic use with reduced rate applications of the insecticide imidacloprid (as Intercept 70WG).

2. Determine whether a potentially useful level of synergy exists which justifies further exploitation.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Improved control of vine weevil in hardy ornamental nursery stock utilising entomopathogenic nematodes   (580k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2002

Cost: £32,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Biological Control              
Crop Pests              
Hardy Nursery Stock              
Fields of Study