Biological Warfare

Why use harsh chemicals on a property to combat pests when you can use biological warfare? Nematodes are an affordable, safe, organic option for property managers looking to protect their green spaces from grubs, slugs, caterpillars, and other pests.

What Are Nematodes?

Nematodes are microscopic worms which live in the soil all around the world. There are many thousands of types of nematodes, some of which are parasitic.
There are good and bad nematodes. Bad nematodes, like the potato eelworm, feed on plant matter and can destroy entire potato crops. Good nematodes, on the other hand, feed on and kill pests.

How Do Nematodes Protect Green Spaces?

Scientists have isolated which nematodes kill different types of pests and they can now be used to safely protect your green space from a wide range of destructive, unwelcome guests.
Nematodes swim through the thin layer of water on soil particles, attracted to carbon dioxide. They then enter the host (whether it be a slug, grub or caterpillar) and release deadly bacteria that kills the host. After killing the host, they reproduce, creating new nematodes. If there are no more pests then the nematodes simply die, but if there are more pests then the cycle continues. This means that the number of nematodes will grow or decline in proportion to the number of pests. More pests, more nematodes.

Which Pests Are Vulnerable to Nematodes?

Nematodes can be used to safely protect properties from a wide variety of destructive or invasive species including:

  • Grubs
  • Slugs
  • Vine weevils
  • Chafer grubs
  • Leatherjackets
  • Caterpillars
  • Codling moths
  • And many others…

Nematodes Are Safe

Nematodes are the safest pest control method available – they are completely safe to use around children, pets, birds, wildlife, and food crops. Rather than relying on potentially dangerous chemicals, use Nematodes to safely eliminate pests while keeping residents, employees and the public who use your properties safe.

Benefits of Nematodes:

There are many reasons why you should be using nematodes on the properties you manage:

  • Nematodes are organic, environmentally friendly and completely safe
  • The pests nematodes kill are non-toxic and are safely consumed by other insects (if they don’t decompose naturally)
  • You cannot over-apply nematodes, they will reproduce or die off at a rate in proportion to the number of pests you have
  • Nematodes can be used alongside other pest control methods, including chemicals
  • Nematodes exist naturally in the soil; you are not introducing a foreign species, only ‘topping up’ the existing population
  • Nematodes are barely visible to the human eye, just 500 microns long and 20 microns wide

Nematodes Application and Storage

In order for nematodes to survive they require warm, moist soil. Hot, dry soil will shrivel them up or drive them deep into the ground while water saturated soil will drown them. Avoid applying nematodes in the very early spring or late fall when the cold weather will kill them.

Although you can purchase nematodes for application yourself, applying them properly is crucial to their effectiveness, so it’s best to have them applied by professionals like the experts at Garden Grove Landscaping.

paul

Written by Paul Lammers
June 8, 2016

Paul Lammers is the vice-president of operations with Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Paul may be contacted at paul@gardengrovelandscaping.com or 1-866-996-1099.

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