Beneficial Nematodes – Pest Management, Naturally
Categories: Beneficial Insects, Beneficial Nematodes, Beneficials, Blog, Pest Prevention
Beneficial Nematodes—The Navy Seals of Good Bugs
Trust us, you want these guys in your garden. Applied in the cover of darkness to your soil, lawns and plants, their job is to seek and destroy the enemies of your yard. They alone can manage over 230 different kinds of soil-dwelling and wood-boring insects. Some of their targets are the pests that plague you all season like Japanese beetles, cut worms, wire worms, weevils, white grubs, fungus gnat larvae, flea larvae, subterranean termites and many more.
Beneficial Nematodes (BN) are completely safe for people, pets and the environment and are compatible with other beneficial insects. The presence of BN will not disturb ladybugs, lacewings, praying mantids or even earthworms.
Beneficial Nematodes Defined:
Beneficial nematodes (Steinernema feltiae) are microscopic, non-segmented worms that are found naturally in all soils around the world. They can’t be seen with the naked eye, but they’re powerful. Did you know they detect the temperature and carbon dioxide emissions of soil borne insects? When they sense their prey, they move toward them and enter the pest through its body openings and can kill within 48 hours. They’ve been shown to be as much as 96% effective against Japanese beetle grubs in field studies. Adding beneficial nematodes to your landscape will protect the the soil for about two years, but it will benefit you to apply annually, especially in the beginning.
Beneficial nematodes are extremely powerful because they attack during several stages of the pest’s lifecycle. They can attack overwintering adults, pupae, larvae and grubs. Each container includes seven million live beneficial nematodes. A one-pint container can cover up to 2,000 square feet of landscape and can be effective through soil, bark or even ground litter.
How to Apply
To release just mix with water and spray. Apply to mulch, soil or potting mix, or inject it into burrows. The package contains instructions to determine the best application method based on your pest. Apply at any time of year in the Sacramento Area.
- Apply them at dusk or on a rainy or overcast day, since exposing them to direct sunlight will neutralize them.
- They prefer a moist environment! Be sure to pre-irrigate with at least .5 inches of water if soil is very dry.
If you’ve spotted any of these, then you’ll want to apply Beneficial nematodes this season:
- Japanese beetles
- Cut worms
- Wire worms
- Flea larvae
- Subterranean termites
- White grubs
- Fungus gnat larvae