Three trials involving the nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poiner) provided convincing evidence that this entomopathogenic nematode can provide highly effective control of black vine weevil larvae under conventional methods of container plant production. In all trials, the application of nematodes significantly reduced populations of weevil larvae relative to levels found in the untreated containers. The first and second trials, using Bergenia and Heuchera, confirmed that H. bacteriophora applied at two rates caused substantial mortality to black vine weevil larvae. The third trial revealed that H. bacteriophora applied to Epimedium provided levels of control comparable to those of imidacloprid and acephate. In all trials, populations of weevil larvae were reduced by 90–100% following the application of H. bacteriophora.

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Author notes

We thank Kurt Bluemel, Bluemel Nursery; Ferrance Kiss and Thomas Hensler, Cavano's Nursery; and Richard Simon and Martha-Pindale Simon, Bluemount Nursery for use of their facilities to conduct these research trials. We thank two anonymous reviewers for providing helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. This work was funded in part by the Chesapeake Bay Program of the Environmental Protection Agency.

2Regional Specialist, University of Maryland, Maryland Cooperative Extension, and Adjunct Professor, Montgomery College, Germantown, MD.

3Independent IPM/TPM Technician, Woodbine, MD.

4Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.

5Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.