A Comprehensive Guide to
Safe Biological Pest Control
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Beneficial nematodes seek out and kill over 200 species of pest insect in the soil and will have no detrimental affect on species such as ladybugs, earth worms and other helpful beneficial insects.
To get pricing and order information on Beneficial nematodes, order nematodes for sale at Buglogical.com
BIOLOGICAL Control Of Pest Insects With Nematodes. Beneficial Nematodes naturally occur in soil and are used to control soil pest insects and whenever larvae or grubs are present. Like all of our products, it will not expose humans or animals to any health or environmental risks. Beneficial nematodes only attack soil dwelling insects and leave plants and earthworms alone. The beneficial nematodes enters the larva via mouth, anus or respiratory openings and starts to feed. This causes specific bacteria to emerge from the intestinal tract of the nematode. These spread inside the insect and multiply very rapidly. The bacteria convert host tissue into products which can easily be taken up by the nematodes. The soil dwelling insect dies within a few days. Beneficial nematodes are a totally safe biological control in pest insects. The Beneficial nematodes are so safe the EPA has waived the registration requirements for application.NATURE'S BEST WAY OF KILLING Grubs and Japanese Beetles.
Though they are harmless to humans, animals, plants, and healthy earthworms, beneficial nematodes aggressively pursue insects. The beneficial nematodes can be used to control a broad range of soil inhabiting insects and above ground insects in their soil inhabiting stage of life. More than 200 species of pest insects from 100 insect families are susceptible to these nematodes. When they sense the temperature and carbon dioxide emissions of soil-borne insects, beneficial nematodes move toward their prey and enter the pest through its body openings. The nematodes carry an associated bacterium (Xenorhabdus species) that kills insects fast within 48 hours. The bacteria is harmless to humans and other organisms and cannot live freely in nature. Several generations of nematodes may live and breed within the dead insect, feeding on it as a food source. When the food source is gone, they migrate into the soil in search of a new host. When the pest population is eliminated, the beneficial nematodes die off and biodegrade. Beneficial nematodes are so effective, they can work in the soil to kill the immature stages of garden pests before they become adults.
Beneficial nematodes infest grubs and other pest insects that are known to destroy lawns and plants.
The Nematodes are effective against grubs and the larval or grub stage of Japanese Beetles, Northern Masked Chafer, European Chafer, Rose Chafer, Fly larvae, Oriental Beetles, June Beetles, Flea beetles, Bill-bugs, Cut-worms, Army worms, Black Vine Weevils, Strawberry Root Weevils, Fungus Gnats, Sciarid larvae, Sod Web-worms, Girdler, Citrus Weevils, Maggots and other Dip-tera, Mole Crickets, Iris Borer, Root Maggot, Cabbage Root Maggot and Carrot Weevils.
Beneficial nematodes belong to one of two genera: Steinernema and Heterorhabditis are commercially available in the U.S. Steinernema is the most widely studied beneficial nematode because it is easy to produce. Heterorhabditis is more difficult to produce but can be more effective against certain insects, such as th white grubs, and Japanese beetles.
What are beneficial nematodes?
Nematodes are morphologically, genetically and ecologically diverse organisms occupying more varied habitats than any other animal group except arthropods. These naturally occurring organisms are microscopic, unsegmented round worms that live in the soil and, depending on the species, infect plants and animals. The two nematode families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae, contain the insect parasitic nematode species. The most commonly used beneficial nematodes are Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, and H bacteriophora. Nematodes that are endoparasites of insects attack a wide variety of agricultural pests.
The life cycle of beneficial nematodes consists of eggs, four larval stages and the adults. The third larval stage is the infective form of the nematode (IT). They search out susceptible hosts, primarily insect larvae, by detecting excretory products, carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Juvenile nematodes enter the insect host through the mouth, anus or breathing holes (spiracles). Heterorhabditid nematodes can also pierce through the insect’s body wall. The juvenile form of the nematode carries Xenorhabdus sp. bacteria in their pharynx and intestine. Once the bacteria are introduced into the insect host, death of the host usually occurs in 24 to 48 hours.
As the bacteria enzymatically breaks down the internal structure of the insect, the Steinernematids develop into adult males and females which mate within the insect's body cavity. Heterorhabditids produce young through hermaphroditic females. This form of nematode has the sexual organs of both sexes. As the nematodes grow, they feed on the insect tissue that has been broken down by the bacteria. Once their development has reached the third juvenile stage, the nematodes exit the remains of the insect body.
Why are these organisms beneficial?
Parasitic nematodes are beneficial for six reasons. First, they have such a wide host range that they can be used successfully on numerous insect pests. The nematodes' nonspecific development, which does not rely on specific host nutrients, allows them to infect a large number of insect species.
Second, nematodes kill their insect hosts within 48 hours. As mentioned earlier, this is due to enzymes produced by the Xenorhabdus bacteria. Third, nematodes can be grown on artificial media. This allows for commercial production which makes them a more available product.
Fourth, the infective stage is durable. The nematodes can stay viable for weeks when stored at the proper temperature. Usually 3 weeks when refrigerated at 37o to 50o F. They can also tolerate being mixed with various insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Also, the infective juveniles can live for some time without nourishment as they search for a host.
Fifth, there is no evidence of natural or acquired resistance to the Xenorhabdus bacteria. Though there is no insect immunity to the bacteria, some insects, particularly beneficial insects, are possibly less parasitized because nematodes are less likely to encounter
How beneficial nematodes work: The life cycle of beneficial nematodes consists of six distinct stages: an egg stage, four juvenile stages and the adult stage. The adult spends its life inside the host insect. The third juvenile stage, called a dauer, enters the bodies of insects (usually the soil dwelling larval form. Some nematodes seek out their hosts, while others wait for the insect to come to them. Host seeking nematodes travel through the soil the thin film of water that coats soil particles. They search for insect larvae using built-in homing mechanisms that respond to changes in carbon dioxide levels and temperture. They also follow trails of insect excrement. After a single nematode finds and enters an insect through its skin or natural openings, the nematode release a toxic bacteria that kills its host, usually within a day or two. In less than two weeks the nematodes pass through several generations of adults, which literally fill the insect cadaver. Steinernema reproduction requires at least two dauer nematodes to enter an insect, but a single Heterorhabditis can generate offspring on its own.The nematodes actively searches for insect larvae. Once inside the larva the nematodes excretes specific bacteria from its digestive trac before it starts to feed. The bacteria multiply very rapid and convert the host tissue into products that the nematodes take up and use for food. The larva dies within a few days and the color changes from white-beige to orange-red or red-brown. The nematodes multiply and develop within the dead insect. As soon as the nematodes are in the infectious third stage, they leave the old host and start searching for new larvae. Infected grubs turn color from white-beige to red brown 2-4 days after application and becomes slimy. After a few weeks, dead larvae disintegrate completely and are difficult to find.
Beneficial nematodes are also very effective against termites, German cockroaches, flies, ant, and fleas.
Beneficial Nematodes are very easy to use. Mix with water and spray or sprinkle on the soil along garden plants or lawn. Put the contents of the Beneficial nematodes in a bucket of water and stir to break up any lumps, and let the entire solution soak for a few minutes. Application can be made using a water-can, irrigation system, knapsack or sprayer. On sprayer use a maximum pressure to avoid blockage, all sieves should be removed. The sprayer nozzle opening should be at leat 1/2 mm. Evenly spread the spraying solutions over the ground area to be treated. Continuous mixing should take place to prevent the nematodes from sinking to the bottom. After application keep the soil moist during the first two weeks for the nematodes to get establish. For a small garden the best method is using a simple sprinkling or water can to apply the Beneficial nematodes to the soil. Apply nematodes before setting out transplants; for othe pest insects, Japanese Beetles and grubs, apply whenever symptomatic damage from insects is detected. Best to apply water first if soil is dry.Proper storage and handling is essential to nematode health.
Always follow the package instructions for the best method of mixing nematodes. Formulations vary depending on the species and target insect. Nematodes can be stored in the refrigerator up to a month (not the freezer) before they are mixed with water, but once the nematodes are diluted in water, they cannot be stored. Also, nematodes shouldn't be stored in hot vehicles, or left in spray tanks for long periods of time.
Nematodes need moisture in the soil for movement (if the soil is too dry or compact, they may not able to search out hosts) and high humidity if they are used against foliage pests. Watering the insect-infested area before and after applying nematodes keeps the soil moist and helps move them deeper into the soil. Care should be taken not to soak the area because nematodes in too much water cannot infect.
Apply nematodes in the early evening when soil temps are lower and UV incidence is lower as well (cloudy or rainy days are good too). Nematodes function best when pest insects are present in the soil.Application is usually easy.
In most cases, there is no need for special application equipment. Most nematodes species are compatible with pressurized, mist, electrostatic, fan and aerial sprayers! Hose-end sprayers, pump sprayers, and watering cans are effective applicators as well. Nematodes are even applied through irrigation systems on some crops. Check the label of the nematode species to use the best application method. Repeat applications if the insect is in the soil for a longer period of time. There is no need for masks or specialized safety equipment. Insect parasitic nematodes are safe for plants and animals (worms, birds, pets, children). Because they leave no residues, application can be made anytime before a harvest and there is no re-entry time after application.How to use beneficial nematodes: For the home gardener, localized spraying is probably the quickest and easiest way to get the nematodes into the soil. Producers ship beneficial nematodes in the form of dry powder type, and sponges. All of these dissolve in water and release the millions of nematodes. Each nematode ready to start searching for an insect in your lawn or garden. Nematodes should be sprayed on infested areas at the time when pests is in the soil. Timing is important, or else you will have to repeat the application. Northern gardeners should apply the nematodes in the spring, summer and fall, when the soil contains insect larvae. Most of the beneficial nematodes are adaptive to cold weather. In fact , the very best time to control white grubs is in the spring and fall. If your in a warmer climate, beneficial nematodes are most effective in the summer.
Fertilizers should be avoided roughly 2 weeks prior to and after nematode application, because they may be adversely affected by high nitrogen content.
Some pesticides work well with nematodes when their mutual exposure is limited while other pesticides may kill nematodes. Check labels or specific fact sheets to find out. Some chemicals to avoid are bendiocarb, chlorpyrifos, ethoprop, and isazophos. Fungicides to avoid are anilazine, dimethyl benzyl, ammonium chloride, fenarimol, and mercurous chloride. The herbicides, 2,4-D and trichlopyr and nematicide, fenamiphos, should be avoided as well.
During hot weather release nematodes in the evening when temperature is cooler. Release once or twice a year or until infestation subsides. Nematodes are shipped in the infectious larvae stage of their life cycle and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Always release very early in the morning or late in the late afternoon.
The value of beneficial nematodes
is extremely high for anyone dealing with soil dwelling pest infestations. When considering where to buy nematodes,
the Internet can be a great source of recommendations and contact
information for distributors across the nation. Knowing what to expect when
you receive your nematodes and how to apply them to your lawn and garden is
part of being happy with the provider you choose.
Nematodes are microscopic, like moist soil, and are the best predators of pests that spend any stage of their life cycle in the soil. Fleas, cut worms, ants, root weevils and grubs are just a few of more than 250 difficult to control pests that nematodes move through the ground consuming without harming the environment.
There are a couple of determining factors when considering where to buy beneficial nematodes. It is best to order biological control nematodes and have them delivered directly to you from a reliable source. This helps insure that the nematodes you are buying are still alive. Nematodes do not live very long in storage. Therefore, buying nematodes that are stocked on a store shelf is very risky.
Purchase beneficial nematodes from a reputable dealer. If your garden center does not carry nematodes, order them from a source online. As living organisms, they must be handled properly to remain effective. The species of nematodes used for lawn infestations are microscopic. You will see the carrier when you open the package, not the tiny nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are non-toxic to humans and pets.
Apply the nematodes as soon as possible after you receive them. Store them in the refrigerator if you cannot apply them immediately.
Apply nematodes in the evening for best results. Nematodes can die from exposure to sunlight or from drying out in the heat. Mix them with water in your sprayer and apply them by simply spraying your lawn. Follow specific instructions that came with the nematodes.