5.7. Entomopathogenic control of wax moths

Many species of entomopathogenic nematodes can be reared and cause mortality in wax moth larvae. The moth larvae, in turn, can be infected with nematodes using various methods. The techniques described below can be used to test exposure time (how long the wax moth larva is exposed to nematodes), nematode dose (often measured in nematode “IJs” or infective juveniles), exposure temperature, and many other factors on infection and mortality rates of wax moths. These same techniques are used by nematologists to investigate nematode biology, though the end result often is moth mortality, making the methods applicable to apicultural research. There can be some concern over non-target effects, including on bees, but these can be minimized with proper screening.