Biocontrol potential of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) against selected key insect pests of canola, cereal and high value crops in Alberta.

Crop losses and the economic impact caused by canola insect pests is substantial, depending on outbreak conditions. With the predicted de-registration of two key insecticides, canola producers are potential subject to greater economic losses. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), also known as predatory nematodes, are commercially available biocontrol agents for the management of insect pests. Although below-ground insect stages are more susceptible to EPNs, recent advancement in application technology has improved their biocontrol efficiency against the foliar insect pests. In this project we propose to explore EPN use against foliar insect pests including flea beetles, diamond back moth, lygus, and below ground pest wireworms. Laboratory experiments will evaluate five different commercially available EPN species, at different rates required to kill the insect pests. Positive findings will direct future investigations under field trials with the long term goal of providing a sustainable insect pest management approach for Western Canadian growers.

Faculty Supervisor:

Paul Tiege


Darius Ramrattan


Alberta Canola Producers Commission






Olds College



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