In the late 1970's there was a project on my installation (Ft. Meade,
Maryland) to try to establish the mosquito mermithid R. cululicivorax in
several mosquito breeding areas. I believe the study was conducted by the
USDA. During the course of the study presampling of different areas was
made to see if any natural mermithids were present. It was found that one
area had a natural mermithid infection. A Romanomermis-type mermithid
emerged from Anopheles mosquito larvae. I do not know if these mermithids
were ever identified, however these natural local mermithids were
different in that they parasitized Culex territans, which was a non-host
for R. cululicivorax
Now here are my questions:
1. We have many areas (sediment ponds, etc) where we conduct
mosquito larvaciding. Is introducing mermithids a viable form of
biological mosquito control?
2. Are they being produced commercially or are there companies
that produce other nematodes that may be interested in producing these? I
have an article that mentions a product called Skeeter Doom which was
supposed to be a commercially prepared mosquito mermithid.
3. Are Anopheles and Culex the only mosquitoes these mermithids parasitize?
I haven't read much research on mermithids and Aedes. Is this true or am I
4. I have an article from Agricultural Research that explains how
to rear the mermithid R. nielseni, however I understand that this
mermithid is only native to Louisiana. Is this true? Would I have to rear
my own larvae and see what type mermithid emerged and then introduce them
into areas where no mermithids are present?
Any insights and help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
Kevin R. Fay
Installation Pest Management
Fort Meade, Maryland
kevinfay at osiris.cso.uiuc.edu
Oh, and I've searched the web for a few days and could find no areas
concerning the practical use of mermithids for mosquito control. If anyone
could point me in the right direction that also would be appreciated.