Beneficial Nematodes

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What if anything can you tell me about some beneficial nematodes that come in a "blue sponge"?
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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Rafael-Beneficial Nematodes are live microscopic organisms (non-segmented round worms) that naturally occur in soil. They are parasitic to insect pests that live or have a larvae stage of life in the soil. Beneficial nematodes can be used in any soil where developing insect pests exist. Once the benefical nematodes find an insect pest they enter the pest through various body openings or directly through the pests body wall. Once inside, the nematode releases a toxin which kills the host larva within 24 - 48 hours. The bacteria creates a food source and an environment suited for the nematodes live and reproduce. Once the food source is used up the nematodes leave the insect pest and begin searching for a new host.

The beneficial nematodes are available in different varieties, some better than others at targeting specific pests. Most quality nurseries and garden centers can help you with the best choice for your particular need. There are also beneficial nematode variety charts available on the web you can use to obtain the most effective nematodes for your need. Knowing the insect pest you want to target and its mobility are important when it comes to chosing the right variety. Nematodes have different kinds of hunting strategies. Some nematodes are ambushers and will wait to attack passing pests moving throughout the soil. Some nematodes are hunters and will actively seek out pests in the soil that are stationary or move very little.

Some nematodes come on a blue spong as you mentioned. They may also be packaged in gels, granules, or liquids. Nematodes are living organisms that need to be keep refrigerated and moist until ready to use. Make sure when purchasing nematodes they are fresh. The nematodes have, from what I have been told, a shelf life of about 4 to 6 weeks so be sure to ask how old or how long the store has had the packaging.

The blue sponge you referred to contains the beneficial nematodes. You would remove the sponge from its sealed packaging and rise the sponge in a small container of water. You gently squeeze the sponge until all the grey matter (Beneficial nematodes) is removed. This mixture of nematodes and water can then be applied to the soil. For best results always follow mixing and application instructions noted on the product packaging.

Hopefully this has helped to answer your question.

John)



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