Research Reports: Effect of Temperature in Flooding to Control the Wireworm Melanotus Communis (Coleoptera: Elateridae)

David G. Hall, Ronald H. Cherry


Larvae of Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal) collected from sugarcane fields in southern Florida were held in soil flooded with water for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 weeks at 18, 21, 24 or 27@*C. At each temperature, regression analyses indicated that the percentage of wireworms killed increased linearly as flood duration was increased. Increasing the temperature maintained during a flood significantly increased the percentage of wireworms that died. Multiple regression analysis indicated that Y = -94.4 + 7.1X"1 + 4.3X"2, where Y was the expected percent mortality, X"1 was flood duration in weeks, and X"2 was temperature in degrees Celsius (R@^2 = .76). The equation may be used to estimate how long a flood should be continued at a given temperature to obtain a desired level of wireworm control under field conditions.

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