Field Crops

Fungi Suppress Corn Rootworm Larvae

Field trials in the late 1980's showed that the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae could be useful in reducing corn rootworm damage.

Dry mycelial particles were soil incorporated at the time of planting, and one month later the treated soil next to corn plants was infested with southern corn rootworm eggs.

In 1988 the high treatment rate of M. anisopliae kept goosenecking and larval feeding on roots to the same level as corn plants not infested with rootworm eggs, and limited adult emergence. In 1989, effectiveness was not as great, but root damage ratings among plants in fungus-treated soil were significantly better than for untreated plants. This shows the potential of this fungus for rootworm suppression.


S. R. Krueger and D. W. Roberts. 1997. Soil treatment with entomopathogenic fungi for corn rootworm larval control. Biol. Control 9: 67-74.

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