Entomopathogenic nematodes are effective in controlling soil insects and they are used in agricultural systems. The virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes on crickets (Gryllus L.) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) was evaluated under different conditions in order to select populations for application in the field. Virulence tests with Heterorhabditis amazonensis RSC05, H. amazonensis MC01, Steinernema carpocapsae All (Weiser) and H. amazonensis GL were performed. Evaluations were then made of the concentrations of infective juveniles (100, 200, 400 and 600 infective juveniles per insect); feeding preference with or without choice; and field tests using traps to evaluate insect sampling. All isolates were found to cause mortality in Gryllus sp., and H. amazonensis MC01 and S. carpocapsae All were selected; an increase in concentration resulted in increased insect mortality. Regarding the feeding preference tests, after 16 h there was no feeding in any of the treatments. In treatments with a chance of choice, it was verified that the crickets fed, independently of the presence of the nematodes. In the field tests, 19 live crickets were found in the traps, and, after application of entomopathogenic nematodes in aqueous suspension, 2 live crickets were found. Results suggested that H. amazonensis MC01 was promising in the control of Gryllus sp. under the tested conditions.
biological control; cricket; Heterorhabditis; horticulture; Steinernema