How Long Does It Take Beneficial Nematodes To Start Eating Insects?

Filed Under: Organic Lawn Care, Insects · Keywords: Beneficial, Nematodes, Insects · 2797 Views
I purchased some beneficial nematodes and sprayed them today as per label directions. It is 60 degrees and cloudy today. How long before those little "ninjas" hatch and begin to eat up all of those bugs?
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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Rafael-The beneficial nematodes you purchased are most likely a juvenile form of nematode. They do not have to hatch and will go to work waiting for pests to come by or searching, depending on the type of memetodes you purchased, for pests to enter and kill immediately. Normally pests are killed within 24 to 48 hours after the mematode enters the insect pest. Only once inside the dead pest does the beneficial nematode live and breed while feeding on it as food. When this food source is gone, the nematode moves out back into the soil looking for other pests to enter and kill. After the pest population has been eliminated, the beneficial nematodes die off. As long as the temperature is between 45 and 90 degrees F. the nematodes will survive. Once the temperatures cool nematodes like most insects will die and some may become dormant. Normally the few that may survive through the winter will not be adequate to control any amount of pests therefore new nematodes should be applied in the spring. As the weather cools many insects move deeper underground for the winter. For this reason an application of beneficial nematodes may be needed to control a pest problem as they emerge closer to the surface in Spring.

Hopefully this has answered your question.

John)


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Rafael Flores

Rafael Flores · Gardenality Stem · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
Thank you John. The temperature range that you mention here was absent on the label instructions and the temperature dropped that night after applying. Durn!

7 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're welcome Rafael. If the temperatures don't stay low for too long yet the nematodes may still be beneficial for a time. If you have noticed a pest problem another application of new nematodes can be applied once temperatures rise in the spring.

7 years ago ·
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