Beneficial Nematodes are small microscopic roundworms up to 2mm long depending on the species.
Beneficial Nematodes are very distinct and different from damaging forms of roundworms
Also known as Entomopathogenic Nematodes , their benefits in controlling many damaging soil pests were identified by the CSIRO and subsequently commercialised by Ecogrow in 1999.
There are several species which all have their distinct characteristics and differing abilities to control pests
They either live in the soil or at soil level depending on the species, and either actively seek out or ambush target pest larvae or pupae stage. They lay in wait or move through moist soil to actively seek out the pest.
They enter the pest through natural body openings to infect it by releasing their associated bacteria which quickly and effectively kills the pest. They then reproduce inside the pest cadaver to create a new generation of Beneficial Nematodes that are released from the cadaver in approximately 2-3 weeks to continue the pest control process
WHY ARE THEY BENEFICIAL FOR THE GARDEN
- Beneficial Nematodes are a chemical free product. Less reliance on chemicals has both short term and long term benefits.
- Non-toxic / Organic
- Natural and safe for pets, family, plants and other beneficial organisms within the soil. They can safely be used near waterways and ponds and other places where chemical pest control product applications can cause an issue. Safe for areas near beehives and chickens etc
- Perfect for use around veggie gardens – safe to apply to edibles
- No protective equipment is required for their application, and there is no withholding period so you (and pets) are able to access the applied areas immediately
- A single use can be all that is required for most pests when properly applied for seasonal control.
- Their ability to act much quicker than chemicals means that results can be seen much quicker also. The bacteria released makes the pests unwell very quickly, and as such they generally stop damaging the grass/plants within 1-2 days
- They also have an ability to control pests when chemicals cannot do so effectively. [Eg – much lawn damage is not identified until the lawn grubs get larger and start to eat more of the root system. At this stage they have built up a large layer of fat that helps protect them from the absorption of chemical pest control products and the chemical work less. However this larger size of the grub means they have larger body openings which actually assist the nematodes in penetrating the grub and makes the Beneficial Nematodes even more effective]
- No chemical resistance can be developed to the bacteria delivered by the nematodes, so Beneficial nematodes will continue to work indefinitely, while chemical control options stop working once pests have built up a resistance
- Chemical pest control applications are effectively non-targeted. They can cause damage and eradicate many non-intended beneficial organisms including earthworms and other micro-organisms. This causes subsequent deterioration of the soil composition and negatively impacts the overall soil profile, resulting in less desirable growing conditions for grass and plants
Becoming increasingly popular as their benefits become more widely known and understood, and their impressive results appreciated
For more information,