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What are beneficial nematodes?

By August 6, 2020 No Comments

What are beneficial nematodes?

They are microscopic worms that are used to fight lawn and garden pests like white grubs and chinch bugs.

How do they work?

Beneficial nematodes enter the body of the target host and release bacteria which kills the host. The nematodes then vacate the dying insect and seek a new host.

How can beneficial nematodes help me?

Beneficial nematodes are useful against lawn-destroying pests like white grubs and chinch bugs.

White Grubs

White grub is part of the life cycle of the June beetle, Japanese beetle, and the European Chafer beetle. Eggs are laid in the lawn in late June, early July. These eggs hatch into grubs that begin to feed on the roots of your lawn in late July to August.  If skunks or other critters are digging holes in your lawn, or if your lawn has brown patches, white grubs could be the problem.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs pierce grass stems and feed on the juices. They inject a poison that causes blades to turn brown and die. They can cause considerable damage especially in sunny areas of the lawn. They’re most active during hot, dry weather. Look for irregular yellow patches. Spread the grass and inspect the soil’s surface for red nymphs or black adult chinch bugs.

How do you apply beneficial nematodes?

Application is simple and requires no protective gear. Application methods vary by product so be sure and check the package for instructions.  Remember that nematodes are live organisms that like moisture. Don’t leave them in a hot car for an extended period of time.

You can apply nematodes once the soil has warmed up in June.  During or after a heavy rainfall is the best time for application, or simply water the affected area for an hour before applying. For best results, keep the soil moist in the application area for 7-10 days after application if it doesn’t rain.

Are beneficial nematodes safe to use around kids, pets and plants?

Yes. All vertebrates are completely resistant to these nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are also harmless to other non-target organisms such as plants, earthworms, bees and ladybugs.

We have a few beneficial nematode products available.

Click here for a video on how to apply nematodes courtesy of Premier Tech Home & Garden.

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