What Are Beneficial Nematodes and How Do They Work?
Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic worms that seek out and destroy over 200 kinds of soil dwelling insects. They attack pests in their larval and pupa stage in the soil, but have been known to attack pests above ground in all stages as well! Nematodes actively hunt for insects larvae, entering through natural body openings. Once inside the larvae, the nematode excretes bacteria from it’s digestive tract before it starts to feed and multiply. Within a few days, the pest will change color and die. The nematodes multiply and develop within the dying insect before leaving the old host to hunt for more pests. As the number of pests decrease, so will the nematode population. For this reason, seasonal releases are recommended. Each species of nematodes prefer specific prey, although, they will attack and parasitize all other forms of soil dwelling insects as well.
Which Nematodes work best?
There are a variety of nematodes that work for different types of pests. This chart should give you an idea of which nematodes to use.
Nematode Release Rates
It is best to release all Beneficial Nematodes the same day as received. If this is not possible, you can store these in a household refrigerator for 30 days. Release in early morning, late afternoon, or when temperatures are not extremely hot. Cloudy days are perfect all day. Moisten soil prior to application & lightly water again after applying nematodes. Beneficial Nematodes may be mixed and used in a watering can or hose-end sprayer. Some nematodes will be on the interior surface of the bag. Rinse out the bag with water and pour into the sprayer or watering can. Add nematodes into a clean 5 gallon bucket of water. Then, add clean water to dilute the suspension and to make up the volume that your spray or application apparatus requires for application of said coverage area.
5 million nematodes per 2,00 sq.ft
10 million nematodes per 4,000 sq.ft.
25 million nematodes per 1/4 acre
50 million nematodes per 22,000 sq.ft. (1/2 acre)