Minutes: Advisory Committee on Releases into the Environment ACRE/06/M3
“Application to release an entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae ACRE/06/P12”
One of the items at the ACRE meeting was a discussion of the potential use of a nematode S. Carpocapsae to control pests in green houses and commercial turf activities (e.g. golf).
The view was that there was some but small potential for harm to non target organisms. If the nematode could be shown to die out naturally in the wild the applicant would be likely to succeed in obtaining a recommendation for licensing.
It is illegal to introduce non-native species into the UK; Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), unless a licence is obtained. Given that the nematode is non-native it would not be very difficult to identify the likely source of any damage done upon release, but samples would have to be obtained quite soon after release if populations of the organism die out quickly in the wild. If the nematode became established then its origin in relation to a given incident would be very difficult to identify.