Commercial Products

One of the most important factors in entomopathogenic nematode product development is the feasibility of producing the nematodes at an acceptable cost and in sufficient quantities, first for use in field testing, and later for product commercialization. During the past decade, significant progress in large scale production, especially in an in vitro process for steinernematid species, has enabled commercial companies to produce nematodes more efficiently and inexpensively. In the United States and Canada, steinernematid-based products are cost effective and comparable to standard chemical insecticides in high and medium cash crops such as cranberry, citrus, ornamentals, and turfgrass. Heterorhabditids are reliably produced in solid media culture, but large-scale consistent production in liquid fermentation of this nematode lags behind steinernematids; further technological advancements are needed to decrease production costs. Improvements in formulation have resulted in nematode products that have a longer shelf life and stability and are easier to mix and apply. IJs of steinernematids and heterorhabditids can be immobilized or partially desiccated on carries, sucb as clav. Polyacrylamide and alginate gels that promote nematode survival during transit and storage. Currently commercially available steinernematid based alginate gel products have a shelf life of 50 months at room temp. In contrast, heterorhabditids require continuous refrigeration to maintain product stability.
Commercialization of EPN has experienced highs and lows.
Successes include:
1. Diaprepes root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus in citrus (Grewal & Georgis 1998)
2. Back vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus in cranberries (Georgis et al., 1991)
3. Billbugs Sphenophorus spp in turf (Smith 1994)
4. Fungus gnats (Sciaridae) in mushrooms and greenhouse (Grewal & Georgis 1998)
But for every success there have been numerous failures. In many cases success has not been achieved despite the pests having shown promise in lab or field trials.
1.Colorado Potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata in Vegetables and corn (Wright et al., 1997)
2.The corn earworm, Helicoverpa zeae in corn (Cabanillas and Raulston, 1996)
3.Cockroaches in urban and industrial environ (Apple et al., 1993)
EPN have been pathogenic to over 200 insect hosts (Poinar 1979; Klein 1990) yet nematodes have only been successfully marketed for a small fraction of these insects.
Commercially Available Entomopathogenic Nematodes
Product name Nematode species Target pests Producer
Ecomask Steinernema carpocapsae Caterpillars BioLogic
Savior Weevil larvae Steinernema carpocapsae Caterpillars Thermo-Trilogy
Guardian Steinernema carpocapsae Caterpillars HydroGardens
J-3 Max Steinernema carpocapsae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Caterpillars The Green Spot
Heteromask Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Weevils, grubs BioLogic
Lawn Patrol Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Weevils, grubs HydroGardens
Scanmask Steinernema feltiae Fungus Gnats BioLogic
Entonem Steinernema feltiae Fungus gnats Koppert
Nemasys Steinernema feltiae Fungus gnats E.C. Geiger