Steinernema scarabaei

Storage temperature can influence beneficial nematode activity by Ganpati Jagdale

Several different species of white grubs including Anomala orientalis, Ataenius spretulus, Blitopertha orientalis, Cotinus nitida, Cyclocephala borealis, Cyclocephala pasadenae, Cyclocephala hirta, Exomala orientalis, Hoplia philanthus, Maladera castanea, Melolontha melolontha, Phyllophaga Spp. and Rhizotrogus majalis are major pests of turf grass.

Read More

Control of white grub Hoplia philanthus with entomopathogenic nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora CLO51 strain, H. megidis VBM30 strain, H. indica, Steinernema scarabaei, S. feltiae, S. arenarium, S. carpocapsae Belgian strain, S. glaseri Belgian and NC strains was tested against larval pupal stages a white grub, Hoplia philanthus under laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, H. megidis and both strains of S. glaseri showed highest virulence against third stage larvae and pupae whereas Belgium strain of S. glaseri showed high virulence against second stage larvae of H. philanthus under laboratory conditions whereas H. bacteriophora, Belgium strains of S. glaseri and S. scarabaei showed high virulence to third stage than second stage larvae of white grubs under greenhouse conditions.


Ansari, M.A., Adhikari, B.N., Ali, F. and Moens, M. 2008. Susceptibility of Hoplia philanthus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) larvae and pupae to entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae). Biological Control. 47: 315-321.

Control oriental beetles, Anomala orientalis with an entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema scarabaei by Ganpati Jagdale

The oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis is one of most damaging white grub species of turfgrass. An entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema scarabaei has been used as effective biological control agent against these beetles.  When infective juveniles of this nematode applied at the rate of 2.5 billion per hectare of turfgrass they can suppress over 77% population of oriental beetles (Koppenhofer and Fuzy, 2009). For more information on the effects of entomopathogenic nematodes on different species of white grubs.

Alm, S.R., Yeh, T., Hanula, J.L. and Georgis, R. 1992. Biological control of japanese, oriental and black turfgrass ataenius beetel (Coleoptera, Scarabidae) larvae with entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda, Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 85: 1660-1665.

Choo, H.Y., Kaya, H.K., Huh, J., Lee, D.W., Kim, H.H., Lee, S.M. and Choo, Y.M. 2002. Entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernema spp. and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) and a fungus Beauveria brongniartii for biological control of the white grubs, Ectinohoplia rufipes and Exomala orientalis, in Korean golf courses. Biocontrol. 47: 177-192.

Koppenhofer, A.M., Brown, I.M., Gaugler, R., Grewal, P.S., Kaya, H.K. and Klein MG. 2000. Synergism of entomopathogenic nematodes and imidacloprid against white grubs: Greenhouse and field evaluation. Biological Control. 19: 245-251.

Koppenhofer, A.M. and Fuzy, E.M. 2009. Long-term effects and persistence of Steinernema scarabaei applied for suppression of Anomala orientalis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Biological Control. 48: 63-72.

Koppenhofer, A.M. and Fuzy E.M. 2004. Effect of white grub developmental stage on susceptibility to entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Economic Entomology. 97: 1842-1849.

Koppenhofer, A.M. and Fuzy, E.M. 2003. Steinernema scarabaei for the control of white grubs. Biological Control. 28: 47-59.

Koppenhofer, A.M. and Fuzy, E.M. 2008. Effect of the anthranilic diamide insecticide, chlorantraniliprole, on Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Rhabditida : Heterorhabditidae) efficacy against white grubs (Coleoptera : Scarabaeldae). Biological Control. 45: 93-102.

Koppenhofer, A.M., Fuzy, E.M., Crocker, R.L., Gelernter, W.D. and Polavarapu, S. 2004. Pathogenicity of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema glaseri, and S. scarabaei (Rhabditida : Heterorhabditidae, Steinernematidae) against 12 white grub species (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae). Biocontrol Science and Technology. 14: 87-92.

Koppenhofer, A.M., Cowles, R.S., Cowles, E.A., Fuzy, E.M. and Baumgartner, L. 2002. Comparison of neonicotinoid insecticides as synergists for entomopathogenic nematodes. Biological Control 24: 90-97.

Koppenhofer, A.M., Grewal, P.S. and Fuzy, E.M. 2006. Virulence of the entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis zealandica, and Steinernema scarabaei against five white grub species (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae) of economic importance in turfgrass in North America. Biological Control 38: 397-404

Lee, D.W., Choo, H.Y., Kaya, H.K., Lee, S.M., Smitley, D.R., Shin, H.K. and Park, C.G. 2002. Laboratory and field evaluation of Korean entomopathogenic nematode isolates against the oriental beetle Exomala orientalis (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 95: 918-926.

Li, X.Y., Cowles, R.S., Cowles, E.A., Gaugler, R. and Cox-Foster, D.L. 2007. Relationship between the successful infection by entomopathogenic nematodes and the host immune response. International Journal for Parasitology. 37: 365-374.

Mannion, C.M., McLane, W., Klein, M.G., Moyseenko, J., Oliver, J.B. and Cowan D. 2001. Management of early-instar Japanese beetle (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae) in field-grown nursery crops. Journal of Economic Entomology. 94: 1151-1161.

Polavarapu, S., Koppenhoefer, A.M., Barry, J.D., Holdcraft, R.J. and Fuzy, E.M. 2007. Entomopathogenic nematodes and neonicotinoids for remedial control of oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae), in highbush blueberry. Crop Protection. 26: 1266-1271.

Yeh, T. and Alm, S.R. 1995. Evaluation of Steinernema glaseri (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) for biological control of japanese and apanese and oriental beetles (Coleoptera, Searabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 88: 1251-1255.

Yi, Y.K., Park, H.W., Shrestha, S., Seo, J., Kim, Y.O., Shin, C.S. and Kim, Y. 2007. Identification of two entomopathogenic bacteria from a nematode pathogenic to the oriental beetle, Blitopertha orientalis. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 17: 968-978.

Kill Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) with Entomopathogenic Nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

  • The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, is a most economically important pest of many ornamental plants and turf grasses.
  • Larvae of these beetles are called white grubs that generally feed on roots of over 300 plants but their primary food source is grass roots. Severe damage caused by these grubs can result in dead patches of turf that can be picked up like a loose carpet.
  • Adults mostly feed on leaves and flowers by chewing the tissue between the veins, a type of feeding called skeletonizing.
  • Chemical insecticides including Imidacloprid (Merit), Chlorpyrifos, Isofenphos, and Diazinon are generally used to manage white grubs but due to human health and environment pollution concerns their use is restricted.
  • Currently, environmentally safe biological control agents including a milky disease causing bacterium Bacillus popilliae (Milky spores) and entomopathogenic nematodes have been used to control this pest.
  • Three entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora GPS11 and TF strains, H. zealandica X1 strain and Steinernema scarabaei have been considered to be the most effective species against Japanese beetle grubs.
  • It has been demonstrated that the application of H. bacteriophora GPS11 and TF strains, H. zealandica X1 strain and S. scarabaei at rate of 2.5 billion infective juveniles per hectare can cause about 96, 98 and 100%, respectively control of Japanese beetle grubs infesting turfgrass (for more information read Grewal et a., 2005).
  • Nematodes can be applied using traditional sprayers that are used for the application of insecticides.
  • Nematodes perform better when they are applied to target small stages of grubs.
  • Nematodes also survive better and remain efficacious when field/lawns are irrigated before and after nematode applications.

How Entomopathogenic Nematodes kill Japanese beetles

  • When the infective juveniles are applied to the soil surface or thatch layer, they start searching for their hosts, in this case Japanese beetle grubs.
  • Once a Japanese beetle grub has been located, the nematode infective juveniles penetrate into the Japanese beetle grub body cavity via natural openings such as mouth, anus and spiracles.
  • Infective juveniles of Heterorhabditis also enter through the intersegmental members of the grub cuticle.
  • Once in the body cavity, infective juveniles release symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus spp. for Steinernematidae and Photorhabdus spp. for Heterorhabditidae) from their gut in grub blood.
  • In the blood, multiplying nematode-bacterium complex causes septicemia and kills Japanese beetle grubs usually within 48 h after infection.
  • Nematodes feed on multiplying bacteria, mature into adults, reproduce and then emerge as infective juveniles from the cadaver to seek new larvae in the soil.


  1. Grewal, P.S., Koppenhofer, A.M., and Choo, H.Y., 2005.  Lawn, turfgrass and Pasture applications. In: Nematodes As Biocontrol Agents. Grewal, P.S. Ehlers, R.-U., Shapiro-Ilan, D. (eds.). CAB publishing, CAB International, Oxon. Pp 147-166.