Beneficial Nematodes are
microscopic, nonsegmented worms that occur naturally in soil all around
the world. Once they are released, the nematodes seek out host insects
and enter their prey through body openings, injecting them with paralyzing
bacteria. The nematodes reproduce
and their offspring feed on the insect cadaver and emerge to seek out
new hosts. The endo-toxin generally results in death of the host insect
within 48 hours.
Nematodes are easy to use. They
are shipped in a dry powdery clay formulation that is easily mixed with
water. The solution can be applied using a watering can; hose end,
backpack, or pump sprayers; or through irrigation or misting systems.
Always release early in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures
are cooler and away from direct sunlight to avoid exposure to
ultraviolet rays and the drying effects of the sun. It is good to
pre-moisten the soil before application and to water the area where
application was performed afterwards. Soil should be moist, but not
Nematodes can be stored in a
refrigerator (do not freeze!) for up to 2 weeks, but it is best to use
them as soon as possible, because they are somewhat perishable. If they
start to smell bad, they're on their way out.