Entomopathogens in control of urban pests

İnci A., Kılıç E., Canhilal R.

ANKARA UNIVERSITESI VETERINER FAKULTESI DERGISI, vol.61, no.2, pp.155-160, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Entomopathogens including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, rickettsia and nematodes are non-infective to vertebrates. There are lots of researches on their efficacy on urban pests. Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) is effective in controlling mosquitos and black flies, B. thuringiensis kurstaki and B. thuringiensis entomocidus controls Lepidoptera caterpillars. B. thuringiensis tenebrionis controls some beetle species. Most of viruses kill immature stages of Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera. Baculoviruses are specific to only a few pests of Lepidoptera and mosquitoes. Fungi have wide spectrum of hosts and the ability to enter via cuticle. They can infect many insects (Dictyoptera, Orthoptera, Dermoptera, Culicidae, Muscidae, Simulidae, Tabanidae, Cimicidae, Vespidae, Formicidae, Lepidoptera, Termitidae) and ticks (Ixodidae and Argasidae). The most common entomopathogenic fungus species are Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae. Protozoa are pathogenic for insect and some ticks. Nosema is the most common genus. However there is necessity to evaluate the potential of Nosema-Ixodidae and Nosema-Insect interactions for tick and insect bio-control. Rickettsias are obligatory intracellular organisms and some species affect ticks. Nematode species in the families of Steinernematidae (Steinernema spp., Neosteirnema spp.), Heterorhabditidae (Heterorhabditis spp.) and Mermithidae are effective on insects and ticks. Entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) carry the pathogenic bacteria (Xenorhabdus spp. and Photorhabdus spp.) in their intestines. These bacteria are able to kill the host within 24-48 hours. Some entomopathogens or microbial pathogens can be mass-produced, and suitable for commercial use. Current applications include control programs for agricultural, forest and urban pests. This review emphases on the potential of different entomopathogens for bio-control of urban pests and brief information about microbial control agents.