The infectivity of four species of entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) [Breton strain], Steinernema riobrave Cabanillas, Poinar & Raulston [Weslaco strain], Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar [HP88 strain], and Heterorhabditis indica Poinar, Karunakar & David [Coimbatore strain] was examined in the laboratory against two subterranean termites: Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. In petri dish tests, they were all effective against C. formosanus at ≥400 nematodes per termite. Steinernema riobrave had no detectable effect against R. flavipes even at a rate of 2,000 nematodes per termite. The virulence of the nematodes for R. flavipes was H. indica > H. bacteriophora > S. carpocapsae > S. riobrave. The virulence of the nematodes for C. formosanus was H. indica and H. bacteriophora > S. carpocapsae and S. riobrave at α = 0.10 level. The LD50 of H. indica against R. flavipes in petri dishes and in containers with vermiculite/sand medium were 296 (95% FL: 231–353) and 264 (95% FL: 176–344) nematodes per termite, respectively. The LD50 of H. bacteriophora against R. flavipes in petri dishes was 494 (95% FL: 357–625) nematodes per termite. Heterorhabditis indica repelled termites at high concentrations in sand and vermiculite medium. The length of repellency varied with the nematode concentration. Nematodes were able to reproduce from R. flavipes and C. formosanus. The possibility of using nematodes to control termites is discussed.
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