Evaluation of cellulose substrates treated with Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin as a biological control agent against the termite Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae)

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Behzad Habibpour *
Amir Cheraghi
Mohammad Saeed Mossadegh
(*) Corresponding Author:
Behzad Habibpour | habibpour_b@scu.ac.ir

Abstract

This article is the first report on the promising effect of an entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin to control populations of Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri. Biological control is an alternative to the long-term usage of chemical pesticides. M. anisopliae, the causal agent of green muscardine disease of insects, is an important fungus in biological control of insect pests. Bait systems can eliminate entire colonies of subterranean termites. Baiting reduces adverse environmental impacts caused by organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides in the control of termites and creates sustainable protection of buildings against their invasion. Treated-sawdust bait was applied by two methods: a) combination of treated sawdust and untreated filter paper, and b) combination of treated sawdust and untreated sawdust. When combinations of treated sawdust and untreated sawdust were used, LC50 and LC90 were 8.4×106 and 3.9×107 (spore/ml), respectively. With the use of improved bait formula and more virulent strains, we hope to achieve better control of termite colonies and enable pathogens to become a useful element in the Integrated Pest Management system.

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