Journal of economic entomology

The potential for controlling Pangaeus bilineatus (Heteroptera: Cydnidae) using a combination of entomopathogens and an insecticide.

PMID 24224248


The peanut burrower bug, Pangaeus bilineatus (Say), is an important pest of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in the southern United States. Current control methods for this pest, which are based on the use of chemical insecticides, have not been successful. Our objective was to determine if entomopathogens applied alone or in combination with a standard chemical insecticide would provide superior levels of P. bilineatus mortality compared with the standard chemical applied alone. Specifically, we investigated the efficacy of an entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Oswego strain), and a fungus, Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (GHA strain), applied alone or in combination with chlorpyrifos. When applied as single treatments, the two entomopathogens were not pathogenic, that is, they did not cause mortality in P. bilineatus adults that was different from the nontreated control. However, 3 and 7 d posttreatment, the combination of the H. bacteriophora and chlorpyrifos caused higher mortality than the nematode, fungus, or insecticide alone, or the combination of chlorpyrifos and B. bassiana. The nature of the interaction between H. bacteriophora and chlorpyrifos was synergistic, which is of particular interest, given that this is the first time a synergy is being reported between a nematode that was not pathogenic when applied alone and a chemical insecticide. B. bassiana and its combination with the chlorpyrifos did not significantly increase insect mortality compared with chlorpyrifos alone or the control. Based on the observation of synergy, the combination of H. bacteriophora and chlorpyrifos should be investigated further for potential adoption in the management of P. bilineatus.