How To Begin Beneficial Nematode Applications
More growers are experiencing successful pest control with beneficial nematodes as they gain more knowledge and awareness of them. Usually, the growers who experience the most success are the ones who understand how to properly apply beneficial nematodes.
There are a variety of factors that influence nematode effectivenessâtemperature, humidity, soil moisture, chemical compatibility, spray adjuvants, equipment, mixing and all play a role in nematode efficacy.
Beginning Your Program
As you begin incorporating beneficial nematodes into your pest control program, be prepared with the knowledge you need to be successful.
Before making an application, make sure you read the label and any supporting literature. Talk to other growers, distributors, manufacturers or consultants to better understand nematode applications and limitations.
Nematodes can be combined with compatible chemicals to help manage insect resistance or to compliment an existing integrated pest management program. Also consider incorporating other biological organisms to more effectively manage all pest life stages. Regardless of the program used, make sure to monitor insect populations, as well as keep detailed pest control records.
Tips For Success
Keeping your nematodes cool is important at all times, especially during the application process. A simple way to keep nematode solutions cool is by placing a cold pack in the solution.
Dont Forget To
When To Apply Beneficial Nematodes
Like chemical grubs control, a proper timing is required for an effective application of beneficial nematodes. Nematodes should be applied when grubs are actively feeding. In summer, apply nematodes in mid to late August and in spring apply when soils start to warm.
The application of nematodes for grubs should be done in the morning before the sun gets brighter strong sunlight harm nematodes. Above 35°C , nematodes will die and all your effort will be futile. These microscopic worms also like moist environment, irrigate dry soil before application or do it after a down pour.
During winter grubs hibernate to overwinter and they are usually not active. Little or no nematodes applied will also be active during this period. Few that may survive the frost will not be effective enough to tackle the overwintered grubs in spring. Another round of application will be required.
Compatibility With Garden Chemicals
Surprisingly, juvenile insecticidal nematodes are compatible with many types of garden chemicals. They can even be tank-mixed with most fungicides and herbicides.
Fertilizers are typically not a problem, unless you are using fresh manure or high concentrations of chemical fertilizers like urea.
These organisms can even tolerate many insecticides, like organophosphates such as diazinon, although the common insecticide carbaryl is moderately toxic.
You can wait one to two weeks to apply your insecticidal nematodes if you are not sure if your selected chemical insecticide is compatible with these organisms.
Package labels will typically provide the information you need to know regarding which chemicals your chosen species is compatible with.
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What Are Lawn Nematodes
Did you know there are millions of beneficial bugs called nematodes in your lawn that can help control pest insects and actually make your grass flourish?
Referred to as roundworms, beneficial lawn nematodes are microscopic insects that control pests such as weevils, white grubs, sod web worms, cutworms, clearwing borers, and chinch bugs. They attack by boring into pest insects, injecting deadly bacteria and then sucking out the cell contents.
Its literally amazing whats going on in the soil just under the lawn in your garden. In the following article well outline why nematodes are so beneficial for the health of your grass, and answer many of the common questions about these lethal bugs. Thank goodness theyre on our side .
How Do They Look When They Arrive
You will usually receive your nematodes in the form of a gel, clay, dry granules, or water-filled sponges. All of these forms will dissolve in water. Just follow the package directions.
If you require organic certification, you should be aware that nematodes shipped in granules or clay may not be certified organic.
And dont be alarmed if you receive a bag of dead insects! Beneficial nematodes are frequently sold while they are inside their insect hosts. Wax mealworms are a common source of commercially available insecticidal nematodes.
In this case, you just scatter them on the ground where you want them to act, and the juveniles will emerge.
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When Should I Treat My Lawn With Nematodes
. Furthermore, when can I put nematodes on my lawn?
Nematodes die off when the grub population in your soil is reduced. Nematodes are best used as a preventative application to control newly hatched larvae so the best time to apply them is in late August to early October. They infect grubs within 2 days of application and kill them within 14 days.
Likewise, do nematodes expire? Do not use nematodes at are past their expiration date. You can apply them using a watering can, sprayer and hose attachment or misting system. It is very important that you mix and apply your nematodes quickly so they don’t ‘expire‘ in the can.
Regarding this, when should you use nematodes?
The proper application of beneficial nematodesThere is two times during which you should apply beneficial nematodes. These are spans of time when grubs are visible on the lawn. The first is during the mid-May to mid-June range. The second comes in mid-August and lasts until part way through October.
How long does it take for nematodes to work?
How To Use Beneficial Nematodes To Reduce Pests In Your Garden
Are predatory insects plaguing your garden?
While there are many types of beneficial nematodes, insecticidal ones are naturally occurring microscopic organisms that live and feed on insects in the soil.
There are different types of nematodes that kill insects. However, many of them are difficult to mass produce or have very narrow host ranges.
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The beneficial nematodes that we will talk about here are entomopathogenic. This term derives from the Greek word entomon, or insect, and pathogenic, or disease-causing.
What makes these insect-killing nematodes special is that they kill their hosts quickly, due to special bacteria that live in their systems.
In contrast to the nematodes you are probably used to thinking of that parasitize plants and animals, these beneficial types can be a great help to your garden.
And in a wonderful gift from nature, insecticidal nematodes will kill pests that feed on plants while typically ignoring beneficial insects.
These fascinating organisms can help control up to 200 different species of insects from 100 different families. Thats pretty wide-ranging coverage.
Heres whats to come in this article:
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Frequency Of Nematode Application
Use beneficial nematodes whenever it is necessary. If you suspect that grubs and larvae are present in your garden or grass, then you should apply the nematodes. This mostly happens during spring and autumn.
Its hard to spot the grubs and larvae since they destroy the plant roots underground. You can detect signs of infestation by checking if there are any adult insects around such as the Japanese beetles. Adult insects generally lay their eggs just before the onset of winter or in winter and the eggs begin hatching in spring or summer. You may also have to make repeated applications so as to maximize the effect of the beneficial nematodes.
Nematode Problems In Home Lawns
Factsheet | HGIC 2154 | Jul 23, 2021 |
Nematodes are major pests of lawns throughout the Southeastern United States. They are microscopic roundworms that live in the soil and on plant roots. Nematodes are particularly a problem in areas with warm temperatures and sandy soils.
Nematodes injure lawns by feeding on plant root cells with their needle-like mouthparts . As a result, the root system becomes damaged to where the lawn cannot properly absorb water and nutrients. Then the lawn becomes thin and weak, making it much more susceptible to other stresses, such as drought.
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Controlling Pests With Nematodes
In early spring it is possible to have good success applying the nematodes on the feeding larva, however the rate of application must be doubled. Nematodes are usually only applied in situations where the damage is severe in spring.
Late summer and early fall is the preferred application time for Nematodes as the larvae are smaller and more easily killed.
For both applications it is important to make sure the lawn is well watered, fertilized and healthy before applying the nematodes.
You can rent portable liquid drop spreaders for effective application of the nematodes. You may also wish to apply Nutritec to your lawn at this time as well.
You can apply for a water exemption permit from most municipalities during this period if required.
Use Beneficial Nematodes To Control Lawn Grubs
If Japanese beetle grubs are feeding on the roots of your lawn, causing unsightly brown patches and even extensive lawn damage, it’s time to use Mother Nature’s secret weapon: beneficial nematodes.
Beneficial nematodes, nature’s way to control Japanese beetle grubs, are microscopic worms that live in the soil. These nematodes actually infest and kill grubs by feeding on and reproducing within the grub’s body. In time, each grub in your lawn becomes a hatchery for 35,000 or more juvenile nematodes, which are ready to search for and destroy more grubs. The more grubs in your lawn, the more the nematode population increases.
After working with beneficial nematodes for over a decade, Gardens Alive! has found a superior strain of nematodes that provide quicker and better eradication of grubs. Its Grub-Away Beneficial Nematodes travel up to 10 times farther and much deeper into the soil than other nematode strains.
Most importantly, Grub-Away controls both Japanese beetle grubs and masked chafer beetle grubs, which are harder to eradicate. Surprisingly, masked chafer beetle grubs cause well over 50% of all lawn-grub damage. Japanese beetle grubs get most of the blame for lawn damage because the adult beetles are so visible and destructive. In contrast, the adult masked chafer is not often seen because it feeds at night.
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Right Nematodes For Grubs
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes are the most effective against Japanese beetles, European chafers and other grubs found in lawns. The cruiser nematodes burrow deep down the soil as they hunt for pests. They also easily get into the body of the pest thus known for faster elimination of grubs.
Beneficial nematodes are shipped in the infectious juvenile stage of their life cycle, and you may receive them on a sponge, in liquids or gels. Nematodes are best applied as soon as possible but they can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 3 weeks. Prolonged freezing is not recommended, as it can harm them.
The amount of nematodes to use depends on the severity of grub infestation and size of your yard. Usually 1 million nematodes are mixed with water to treat a 2000 sq. ft. lawn area. For complete coverage and elimination of pests, several applications should be done every 7-10 days or until infestation subsides.
Eco Friendly Lawn Seed
For the last number of years there has been a movement towards more eco friendly lawn seed mixtures. Fescues are a workhorse of a lawn seed that do well in both shade and sun. Fescues typically require less fertilizer, growing a deeper root system that makes them far more drought tolerant than bluegrass and because of their extensive root system they can withstand some grub damage. White clover is another eco friendly lawn alternative gaining popularity as it is completely drought and grub resistant. It requires no fertilizer and can be cut down short in the heat of summer and still survive.
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Nematodes: Bring On The Carnage
I think it is safe to say that spring is actually here. How can we deny it when we see the blooms bursting free from tight pods, the birds chirping almost hysterically, and the pests happily chomping their way through the roots of our newly planted crops and fresh shoots of grass. Wait, what? It was all good up until that last part. But the truth is, we are not the only ones that look forward to the newness of growth that spring has to offer. You know the song, Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it., and all the little pests of the garden do it too! This time of the year, larvae can run rampant in your garden, and they love nothing more than to wiggle their way into one of your crops and set up room and board. They may hang out, dwelling in your soil and gobbling up the roots of your plants and grass, while you dont even know they are there until the damage is done. Or they lie in wait until they become adults and letting loose careening beetles that insatiably rip apart the fresh leaves of your crops. Oh woe to us, what is a hopeful gardener to do?
How To Use Nematodes
- Mix the nematodes with water in a bucket to create a stock solution, according to the instructions found on the product sleeve. TIP: Empty one pack in a bucket and add a small volume of water to form a thick suspension. Stir and make sure all lumps are fully dispersed before adding more water.
- Immediately apply diluted suspensions of nematodes as per instructions, using appropriate equipment e.g. watering can fitted with a very coarse rose , garden hose applicator or pump sprayer. Note: A garden hose applicator is useful for treating a large area of soil or lawn, but unsuitable for some applications, for example against caterpillars or when treating vine weevil larvae in pots.
- Keep the nematode suspension agitated during application.
- Apply in wet and humid conditions and avoid applications in direct sunlight evening applications are best.
- Ideally apply during rainfall or irrigate prior and after application .
- For soil applications, the soil should be moist and remain moist for at least 2 weeks after application.
- You can’t over apply nematodes but, if you have any left over after applying at the correct rate, treat adjacent beds and pots.
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The Best Months To Apply Nematodes
However, this ranges depending on the life cycle of the insect. Therefore, before you apply the beneficial nematodes to control particular insects or underground larvae, it is critical to understand the life cycle of the insect. This will help you know the precise time period when you should intervene and apply the nematodes. For some insect species such as leatherjackets and chafer grubs, the best time to apply nematodes is usually in April and October respectively as these months correspond to the most vulnerable parts of their life cycle.
Nematode Application 50 Mil Or More:
Nematodes packaged in an inert gel carrying material that dissolves in water. Applied 1/2 teaspoon of the beneficial nematodes per gallon of water. Application in using a watering can, backpack sprayers, pump sprayers, irrigation systems, hose-end sprayer, or motorized sprayer. After mixing the nematodes with water, use the spray solution immediately. Evenly spray the solution over the ground areas to be treated. Continuous mixing should take place in order to prevent the nematodes from sinking to the bottom of the container. Keep the soil slightly moist during the first 7 days after application to help establish the nematodes in the soil. Sprinkle the turf or soil again with water after the application of the nematodes. Apply nematodes as soon as possible for best product performance. You may keep the package of 50 mil.nematodes in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks upon receiving the product.
Application 10 mil. nematodes
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Keeping & Using Nematodes
Nematodes are super easy to use, require very little work and no sprays! You get a whopping 10 million nematodes in an individual package. That will cover an area between 2000-3000 square feet . They are shipped in a powdery solution that mixes well in water. Be sure to keep your nematodes in the fridge and apply as soon as possible for best results. They are a living insect so the longer you wait the less effective they will be . Do not use nematodes at are past their expiration date. You can apply them using a watering can, sprayer and hose attachment or misting system. Its a good idea to apply your nematodes during low light periods .
It is very important that you mix and apply your nematodes quickly so they dont expire in the can. You want to insure the nematodes have a chance to get into the soil before the water is evaporated. If possible, you should water your lawn or apply after a light rain for best penetration. Avoid applying to over-saturated soil as nematodes will simply wash away and avoid applications when your soil temperature is below 10°C / 50°F if youre using local, Canadian grown nematodes .
Lastly, always read the expiry date and apply before they go bad because dead nematodes dont work and its very hard to see if they are alive or not. Dont chance it, deal with them right away.
Where To Buy Nematodes
Nematodes can be ordered from any organic pest control agency or an online gardening store. The price vary among suppliers and the entire cost will depend on application rates for your area.
Nematodes have consistently demonstrated effectiveness in controlling pests in various agricultural and horticultural sectors. Being biological control agents, nematodes require specific conditions to be effective including good storage, timely application and re-applications.
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Tips For Successful Results:
- Area to be treated must to moist prior to application. After a heavy rain is best. Area must be kept moist for at least two weeks after application.
- Avoid applying nematodes in sunny conditions. Apply in evening or when overcast.
- Use the entire package at once and immediately after mixing
- If using a sprayer make sure it has been cleaned and rinsed well. Removed screen from the sprayer. Use only sprayers that have not had pesticides used in them residue can be harmful to nematodes.
- Apply prior to expiry
- Check soil temperature for your area. Ideal temperature at application is 5 degrees C for Blackvine Weevil Killer and 12 degrees C for Grub Killer and Leatherjacket Killer.