Nematodes are very small,
worm-like organisms, most of which are found living naturally in the soil.
What so I buy beneficial nematodes?
Click here for a list of suppliers.
Why are these nematodes
considered to be beneficial?
This group of nematodes attack and kill insects, mostly pests. They are
safe to use since they do not endanger people, pets, or other desirable
animals, even earthworms. Using living, natural biological control agents
sustains and augments the natural soil diversity conserving other
beneficial organisms that make healthy soils.
Most nematodes are beneficial. If they are not part of the group that
attacks insects, they likely belong the vast majority that are
saprophytic, breaking down organic materials adding to richness and tilth
of soil and helping to produce high quality compost. There are certain
groups of nematodes that attack living plants, plant parasitic nematodes.
Also, there are groups of nematodes that parasitize animals.
The insect parasitic, beneficial nematodes that we produce and sell are
strictly parasites of insects and have been exempted from registration as
pesticides by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of their
host specificity and their general safety for humans and the environment.
insect parasitic nematodes work?
The nematodes live in the soil where they locate their hosts. The
nematode infective stage enters the insect and begins to feed on its blood
and internal organs. Soon after it begins to feed, it releases unique
bacteria that it carries internally. The bacteria infect the insect,
reproduce quickly, and kill the insect within 30 to 48 hours. The
nematode thrives upon this food which becomes a decaying insect being
broken down by the unique bacteria. The nematode forms an adult stage and
begins to produce thousands of eggs. These eggs mature and about 2-3
generations of nematodes are produced in the decaying insect.
Reproduction continues until the nematodes sense that the decaying insect
will not support further reproduction by the nematode. At that time, all
of the nematode offspring mature only to the infective juvenile stage and
begin to emerge from the host insect to look for more viable, live insects
to infect. The infective juvenile, IJ3, is the third nymphal stage of the
nematode which has a double thick skin and which is best equipped to
survive in nature until it can find a new host.