Controlling outdoor pests is best accomplished before they hatch, rather than taking care of the problem when you have an infestation during the spring and summer months. Beneficial nematodes are used as a tool for organic pest control. Nematodes are microscopic, worm-like creatures that feed on the eggs and larvae of common insects that mature in the soil throughout the year. Typically, they infect insects in their larval or pupal state, but have even been shown to infect adult insects. Once the nematodes have become a parasite to their chosen host, they release toxic bacterium the kills the bug within 48 hours. If of the host does not occur, the insect is usually rendered sterile and disabled.
Beneficial nematodes are naturally occurring and can be used anywhere that pests exist such as homes, businesses, and farms. They are safe for people, pets, and plants. Nematodes can be applied on a schedule to prevent infestations or for pest removal after an infestation has occurred. If they are applied after an infestation, it should be reduced after a few days.
How are Nematodes Applied?
Applying beneficial nematodes to your lawn, garden, flower bed, or pasture is simple. BR Green adds water to the refrigerated nematodes and sprays on your property. Once applied, they immediately become effective and begin attacking any larvae growing in the soil. After just a few days, the impact of the nematodes can be observed by seeing less flies and other outdoor pests. If you apply them yourself, simply add water and spread them with a pump sprayer or or watering can. They should be sprayed either early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid sun and heat exposure.
How do Beneficial Nematodes Work?
Nematodes are a natural parasite that attack certain insects in the soil. Once a food source is found, the nematodes infiltrate the larvae through its openings. Once inside its host, the nematode will release bacteria that is toxic to insects. The bacteria that is released grows for a period of 24-48 hours and kills the host soon after. Beneficial nematodes then feed on this bacteria as their food source. Once consumed, they move on to their next victim.
What Insects are Beneficial Nematodes Effective Against?
While an effective form of organic pest control, nematodes do not attack all outdoor pests. However, they do kill and prevent a vast array of bugs. In the case of lawns, nematodes are very effective against grub works that feed on and destroy plant root systems. Additionally, they control over 230 different insect species that are soil dwelling and wood boring. Some of the most common lawn pests that beneficial nematodes help prevent are: fleas, ticks, Japanese beetles, chinch bugs, cut worms, wire worms, weevils, white grubs, fungus gnat larvae, and subterranean termites.
Beneficial Nematodes and Organic Lawn Care
These microorganisms are essential in a complete organic lawn care program. BR Green employees are specially trained to look for the warning signs of grub and chinch bug infestation in lawns. If treatment is needed, we add beneficial nematodes to your lawn as part of our lawn care package. Contact us today to get started with a free lawn evaluation.