How to Know If Beneficial Nematodes Have Worked

Beneficial nematodes: How they work and how to know they have worked

How to Know If Beneficial Nematodes Have Worked

Beneficial nematodes are becoming increasingly popular as an effective biological control agent for pests in gardens, which means it’s important to know if beneficial nematodes have worked. These microscopic, worm-like creatures come in two types: entomopathogenic nematodes and insecticidal nematodes. Both types work by infecting and killing certain pests, such as root weevils and dwelling pests, by releasing bacteria that causes septicemia.

Beneficial nematodes are a key component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and can be purchased from stores or online. However, it is important to properly store nematodes and avoid using them against non-target pests, such as knot nematodes.

Entomopathogenic nematodes are also known as garden army nematodes or parasitic nematodes. They seek out insect pests in the soil and release bacteria that kill the host within 48 hours. Insecticidal nematodes, on the other hand, target pests that dwell above ground such as caterpillars and beetles.

Beneficial nematodes seek out and infect pests such as grubs, weevils, and cutworms. Once inside the pest, the nematodes release bacteria that kills the pest within 24-48 hours. The nematodes then reproduce inside the dead pest, creating a new generation of nematodes to continue the cycle.

When using beneficial nematodes for garden pest control, it is important to identify the target pests correctly before purchasing them. Nematode species vary in terms of their preferred prey, and some may not be effective against certain pests. Proper storage is also essential to ensure the viability of beneficial nematodes upon arrival. Store them in a cool place until ready to use, or follow the instructions provided on the packaging.

How Beneficial Nematodes Work

Beneficial nematodes have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria that are lethal to insects, but harmless to plants and animals. When applied to soil, these nematodes seek out their prey by sensing carbon dioxide emissions from insect larvae or pupae. Once they locate their target, they enter through body openings or directly through the skin.

Once inside the insect host, beneficial nematodes release bacteria that multiply rapidly and cause septicemia (blood poisoning) in the insect’s body cavity. The infected insect dies within 24-48 hours as its internal organs liquefy due to bacterial digestion. The newly produced generations of beneficial nematode offspring feed on this liquefied material before emerging from the dead host in search of new prey.

How to Know Beneficial Nematodes Have Worked

To know if beneficial nematodes have worked in controlling garden pests, it is important to monitor the population of garden pests before and after application. Look for signs of reduced pest activity or damage to plants. If there is a significant reduction in pest activity after applying beneficial nematodes, it is an indication that they have worked effectively.

Another way to determine if beneficial nematodes have worked is by using a microscope to check for their presence in soil samples taken from treated areas. A soil sample can be collected from the treated area and examined for nematodes under a microscope. If beneficial nematodes are present in the soil sample, it is an indication that they have successfully established themselves in the soil and are actively seeking out pests.

With the rise of environmental awareness, natural solutions like nematodes are becoming increasingly popular for pest control, and for good reasons. They offer a safe, effective, and eco-friendly alternative to harmful chemical pesticides that can damage not only pests, but also other beneficial insects and even humans. By incorporating beneficial nematodes into your garden pest control routine, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are taking a step towards a more sustainable and healthier environment. So, the next time you’re faced with a garden pest problem, don’t reach for the chemicals right away. Instead, consider using beneficial nematodes as a natural and effective solution that will benefit not only your garden but also the planet.

Looking for beneficial nematodes that can control your pest infestation? Look no further than the products from The Environmental Factor! Our safe and effective solutions eliminate pests at the source, preventing them from multiplying and causing further damage. With just a simple application, these powerful nematodes will keep your lawn, garden, or household pest-free without harming the environment. Say goodbye to toxic chemical pesticides and hello to a greener, more sustainable garden. Discover our environmentally conscious products by visiting our online store here. Let’s team up to protect our planet, one garden at a time!