"Double-Death" PREDATOR NEMATODES FACT SHEET & Release Instructions
(Steinernema carpocapsae & Heterorhabditis heliothedis)
USED AGAINST SOIL-DWELLING INSECTS
Microscopic Predator Nematodes attack and kill almost any insects that live in the soil, even ones as large as cutworms. Not to be confused with pest nematodes, Predator Nematodes attack only pest insects, never plants, and they're harmless to earthworms, too. But if it's an insect, watch out! So long as an insect spends part of its life cycle resting in the soil (as many insect pests do) they attack by actually invading the insect body and then reproducing themselves on what remains, until only a "shell" is left behind. More nematodes then emerge to repeat the cycle.
Predator Nematodes are so tiny, one million fit on a small 2" sponge. Each million treats up to 3000 square feet of soil surface. To use, rinse the sponge(s) in a gallon of water. This gallon can then be further diluted with as little or as much water as desired, and watered into the soil. How do you water them into the soil? It doesn't really matter - you can water them in with a watering can, spray them in with a pump-up sprayer (no, the pressure doesn't hurt them - they go through the nozzle fine), or even run them through a fertilizer-injector. The important things are to use them within 2 hours of mixing, because after that they start to drown. And release them in the early morning or evening, because sunlight harms them until they're watered into the soil. Water them in so they're flushed through the top 2-3 inches of soil.
For most pests, good control has been reached with repeat applications of nematodes every 4-6 weeks. They'll live longest when the soil stays moist, but not saturated with water. If you want to store the nematode "sponges" for a while before release, they'll keep in the refrigerator (at 40-50° F.) for up to 2 months. Add a few drops of water if they seem to be drying out.
Our "Double-Death" Predator Nematodes perform better and go farther because they've been raised on a diet of live insects. Some other brands are raised on artificial diet, and are not nearly as vigorous as our live-reared nematodes. Stored live in the refrigerator (not dehydrated), our "Double-Death" Predator Nematodes are immediately active, and rapidly set up breeding populations.
Although the use of Predator Nematodes is well established for soil pests, some growers also use them on foliage pests as well. These (mostly greenhouse) gardeners spray nematodes on foliage in the evening, and then mist foliage throughout the night to keep moist conditions favorable to nematodes. "Double-Death" Nematodes actually crawl into leaf-miner tunnels this way, and have been used against other pests as well. Please let us know your results if you experiment in this manner, and we'll pass your information on.
One Million Treats to 3,000 sq. feet of surface area; six million treats to 18,000'; they'll store in refrigerator up to two months.