Predatory nematodes are tiny, worm-like organisms that feed on other soil-dwelling creatures such as insects and mites. These microscopic predators have been gaining popularity in the agricultural industry as a natural and effective way to control pests without the use of harmful pesticides.
The use of predatory nematodes involves introducing them into the soil to target specific pests that cause damage to crops. There are different species of predatory nematodes that are effective against different pests, and their effectiveness depends on factors such as temperature, moisture, depth, and soil type.
One of the most commonly used species of predatory nematodes is Steinernema feltiae. These nematodes are effective against a wide range of soil-dwelling pests such as fungus gnats, root aphids, and thrips. They work by infecting the host pest with a bacteria that kills it, and then feeding on the decomposing pest.
Another species of predatory nematode is Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. These nematodes are effective against a variety of soil-dwelling pests including grubs, weevils, and other beetle larvae. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes also have a unique behavior where they release bacteria that kill the host pest before feeding on it.
Predatory nematodes are applied to the soil as a liquid solution mixed with water. The nematodes can be applied directly to the soil or injected into the soil around the base of the plants. Once introduced to the soil, the nematodes will seek out their target pests and begin their hunt.
One of the benefits of using predatory nematodes is that they are completely natural and do not harm worms, plants, or the environment. They also do not leave any harmful residues on crops, making them a safe alternative to traditional pesticides.
Another advantage of using predatory nematodes is that they are highly effective at controlling pests. They are able to target pests that are difficult to control with other methods, such as those that live deep in the soil. Predatory nematodes are also able to attack pests in their early stages of development, before they cause significant damage to crops.
Overall, the use of predatory nematodes is a promising alternative to traditional pesticides for pest control. They offer a natural and effective solution for farmers and growers, while also promoting sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices such as no-till gardening and farming. As more research is conducted on the effectiveness of different species of predatory nematodes, we can expect to see them play an increasingly important role in pest management strategies.
Predatory Nematodes are an effective control for literally hundreds of pest insects that have a life stage in the soil. This is a partial list of the more common species "Double-Death" Predator Nematodes are known to control:
Banded Cucumber Beetle, Bark Beetle, Click Beetle, Colorado Potato Beetle, Checkered Beetle, Flea Beetle, Japanese Beetle, June Beetle, Leaf Beetle, Mexican Bean Beetle, Pine Beetle, Powder Post Beetle, Scarab Beetle, Southern Pine Beetle, White Fringed Beetle
European Corn Borer, Onion Borer, Round Headed Borer, Wood Borer
Field Cricket, Morman Cricket
Black Fly, Crane Fly, Fruit Fly, Saw Fly
Carpenter Moth, Codling Moth, Gypsy Moth, Meal Moth, Oriental Fruit Moth, Pine Tip Moth, Winter Moth
Banana Root Weevil, Boll Weevil, Cane Weevil, Corn Root Weevil, Pecan Weevil, Pine Weevil, Rice Weevil, Strawberry Root Weevil
Army Worms, Cabbage Worm, Corn Earworms, Cutworms, Fall Army Worm, Hornworm, Meal Worm, Measuring Worm (Loopers), Melon Worm, Pink Bollworm, Potato Tubeworm, Sod Webworm, Southern Rootworm, Spruce Budworm, Tobacco Budworm, Tobacco Hornworm, Webworms, Wireworms
Algae Gnats, Apple Leaf Roller, Assassin Bugs, Bean Leaf Roller, Billbugs, Cabbage Aphid, Cabbage Looper, Chinch Bugs, Cotton Stainer, Fungus Gnats, Gall Midges, Gall Gnats, German Cockroaches, Grasshoppers, Imported Fire Ants, Lacewings, Leaf Skeletonizer, Leather Jackets, Pear Aphids, Red Bugs, Seed Corn Maggot, Squash Bugs, Sting Bugs, Termite, Thrips, White Grubs, Yellow Fever Mosquito, Ants, Poultry Mites, Ticks
As you can see, this is quite a list! This is only the insects known to have been controlled by "Double-Death" Predatory Nematodes, and many more probably are controlled by predator nematodes, if they have a life stage in the soil.
"Double-Death" Predatory Nematodes can survive over a wide temperature range (32 - 90 F.), but are most effective as an insect control at soil temperatures of 50 -85 F. Apply "Double-Death" Predatory Nematodes every 4-6 weeks throughout the season when soil temperatures are in this range. For insects that emerge in Spring and return in the Fall, Springtime and Fall applications are most effective, timed for when the soil temperature is about 50 - 55 F. both times.
One Million Treats up to 3,000 sq. feet of surface area; six million treats to 18,000'; they'll store in refrigerator up to two months.
Handy Hint: If you have two greenhouses - one with a pest infestation and the other without - either do all your work in the "clean" greenhouse first, then move to the infested greenhouse; or treat both with the appropriate Hired Bugs.
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