Photographs showing how to rear
Entomopathogenic nematodes

Entomology & Nematology Department
University of Florida

Fig. 1. How to expose wax worms to nematodes.

Place 2 pieces of filter papers in a petri dish. Transfer 2 or 3 ml of water containing about 1000-5,000 nematodes
into the dish, on the filterpaper (be sure the papers become wet but NO EXTRA WATER CAN BE SEEN).
Depending on the size of the petridish, a number of wax worms (or other insects) will be released into the dish. With the petridish
100 x 15 mm, about 10- 25 waxworms can be used for1000-5,000 nematodes (you should know that to use too many
nematodes, they will die in the body of wax worms and you will not have many nematode offsprings). Larger petri
dish can be used for a larger number of insects.

Fig. 2: How to arrange the dead wax worms in White traps to collect nematodes. A: for Steinernema.
B-D: for Heterorhabditis.

After 2 days, all wax worms will be killed by nematode. The wax worms will be washed in a cup of water and
transfered to a White trap as shown in the pictures. How to make a White trap: Place a top of 100 x15 mm petri
dish in a larger petridish (150 x25 mm), cover the former with filter paper as in Fig. A, arrange the dead wax worms
on the filter paper as shown above. After the arrangement is finished, add water into large petridish so that the water
reaches the edge of the filter paper which will absorbed water and become wet. Be sure the paper underneath of
wax worms to be wet, add some water on the paper. Keep the prepared petri dish in the dark. After about 5-10 days,
the infective stage of nematode will emerge and move into water. Nematode can be collected, washed several time

using a sieve. Now the nematodes can be used to infect insects or stored in a refrigerator for future use.

Updated  November 01 2005