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Nematodes

Nematodes or roundworms are used as natural enemies of insect larvae. These natural enemies live in the soil and use their prey as a food source and breeding ground. The nematodes penetrate the prey and secrete bacteria, causing the prey to die within two to three days.
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What are nematodes and how do nematodes move?

Nematodes are often referred to as roundworms, but are not closely related to true worms. The nematode species that feed on plants are so tiny you need a microscope to see them. Nematodes are small worm-like creatures, or parasitic roundworms, about 0.6 mm in size, so they are not or hardly visible.
Some species appear pear-shaped, although the adults are slender and long. When nematodes feeding aboveground they may cause distorted and twisted leaves, flowers and stems. But how do nematodes move? They can move quickly in moist soil and swim freely in water. Our tip is to keep your soil well-drained. They also move by things as boots and animals. Nematodes control different stages, but generally prefer prey in the larval stage. Nematodes also use the pest insect as a breeding ground and eat the contents of the pest.


What do nematodes eat/how do they feed themselves?

It doesn't matter where nematodes feed, these tiny worms can seriously damage to crops. The real damage occurs when a nematode injects saliva into a cell from its mouth and then sucks out the cell contents. How do you know the damage is done? The plant responds with distorted growth, swelling and dead areas. These tiny worms can also carry bacterial diseases and viruses which they could inject into the plants. The feeding wounds they make, create an easy entrance point for fungi and diseases. 





Multiplication

Nematodes multiply quickly and after two to six weeks the new generation starts looking for new pest insects. This multiplication process continues continuously, provided there is enough food (the pest) available for the nematodes, i.e. until the pest is eradicated. Another condition for the multiplication process is that the soil temperature should not be too low.




Use of nematodes in horticulture 

When you want to buy nematodes and use them as biological control, it is important to distinguish between two different species: Nemaslug and Nemasys. Nemaslug are beneficial nematodes that are used against snails - both house snails and slugs - while Nemasys is suitable for controlling insect larvae. Moreover, Nemasys is available in various variants: Nemasys L (Steinernema kraussei), Nemasys F (Steinernema feltiae) and Nemasys H (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora). We offer the nematodes to control larvae under our own brand, but you will also find BASF nematodes in our range. Biological control using nematodes fits in perfectly with integrated crop protection. Nematodes are used to control the following pest insects in horticulture: 

• Sciarid fly; 
• Vine weevil; 
• Shore flies; 
• Caterpillars; 
• Weevil species 
• (nudibranch) snails 

Our specialists wrote an article on how nematodes are used as a natural enemy of these pest insects. In this article our specialist also tells more about the different types of nematodes. 


Conditions of application for nematodes 

Roundworms perform best in a moist soil with a temperature between 5 and 30°C. Therefore, when you want to apply nematodes or roundworms in your cultivation, take wet conditions into account. When you use nematodes it is important to keep repeating the application. This will maintain the population of nematodes. Biological control with beneficial nematodes is completely safe for humans, the environment, the crop and other beneficial insects. 


Nematodes application with spraying equipment 

Nematodes are administered with a usual nematodes sprayer and some water. Fill three quarters of the spray barrel or spray tank of the nematodes sprayer with water. Meanwhile prepare the nematode solution; fill a bucket with 10L of water and add the entire package of nematodes. Then stir the solution well. Then fill the vessel or tank with the required amount of water. Apply the spray liquid immediately after mixing, this will prevent the nematodes from sinking to the bottom. If you do not apply the spray liquid directly, nematodes can sink, so you do not have a uniform spray liquid. 


Buy nematodes and roundworms 

Would you like to buy nematodes and roundworms to control insect larvae, including the sciarid fly or snails, in professional horticulture? Our specialists will be happy to advise you about the different types of nematodes and their use. In this way you always use nematodes in the right way and effectively control insect larvae. Moreover, at royalbrinkman.com you can order nematodes for professional use 24/7.  

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