Granular Formulations of Steinernema carpocapsae (strain All) (Nematoda: Rhabditida) with Improved Shelf Life


  • W. J. Connick, Jr.
  • W. R. Nickle
  • K. S. Williams
  • B. T. Vinyard


Shelf life (nematode survival) of Steinernema carpocapsae (strain All) nematodes at 21 C in "Pesta" granules, made by a pasta-like process, was increased from 8 to 26 weeks by incorporating low concentrations of formaldehyde. Pesta samples containing an average of 427,000 nematodes/g were prepared with wheat flour (semolina or bread flour), kaolin, bentonite, peat moss, nematode slurry, and formaldehyde (0-1.4% w/w) and were dried to a water content of 23.6-26.9%. Nematodes emerged from Pesta (S. carpocapsae) granules when placed in water or on moist filter paper. Incorporation of 0.2% w/w formaldehyde (nominal; 0.05% by analysis) was optimum for increasing nematode survival in semolina-based Pesta, and also inhibited fungal growth on the granules. Bread flour Pesta samples prepared by formaldehyde addition to the nematode slurry prior to dough preparation, rather than by addition to a mixture of dry ingredients, had longer shelf life. Nematodes recovered from granules made with 0.2% formaldehyde and stored 20 weeks at 21 C caused 100% mortality of wax moth (Galleria mellonella) larvae. Key words: biocontrol, entomopathogenic nematode, formaldehyde, formulation, nematode, Pesta, Steinernema carpocapsae, shelf life, storage, water activity, wheat flour