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How to Control Grubs with Nematodes

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Posted in Soil & Mulch, Summer

How to Control Grubs with Nematodes

For lawn enthusiasts, the white grub is public enemy #1! Luckily, you can fight off grubs and other pests naturally with beneficial nematodes, naturally occurring microscopic worms that prey on grubs.


What Are Nematodes?

Nematodes are a microscopic, naturally-occurring worm found in soils around the globe. They hunt and feed on soil dwelling insects by entering their bodies, injecting them with lethal bacteria, and feeding from their insides (not too pleasant to think about, but it's efficient!).

The toxin typically kills the host insect within a couple of days. To complete their lifecycle, nematodes also lay their offspring in the dead grub (or other pest). 

Keeping & Using Nematodes

Nematodes are extremely easy to use and require very little work. And best of all, no sprays! You get a whopping 10 million nematodes in a package, and this will cover an area between 2000-3000 square feet (based on a heavy or light application rate).

Nematodes are shipped in a powdery solution that mixes well in water. Be sure to store your nematodes in the fridge (but don't freeze them), and apply them as soon as possible for best results.

Keep in mind that they are living insects, so the longer you wait to apply them, the less effective they're likely to be, as they'll start to die off if you wait too long. Do not use nematodes that are past their expiration date.

Applying Nematodes

You can apply Nematodes with a sprayer and hose attachment, a watering can, or a misting system. It’s best to apply your nematodes during low light periods (morning or evening are best).

Once you've mixed your Nematodes with water, apply them quickly so they don’t ‘expire’ in the can. You want to give them a chance to get into the soil before the water evaporates.

If possible, you should water your lawn before application, or apply after a light rain for best penetration. Avoid applying to over-saturated soil as nematodes will simply wash away and avoid applications when your soil temperature is below 60°F (15°C).

A hose-end spray applicator makes applying nematodes very easy. Simply mix a concentration, fill your applicator and spray out nematodes until the jar is empty.

Continue to refill your applicator until all your concentrated nematode solution has been applied. If you have an applicator that refills your jar as you spray, try mixing a tea bag in with your nematode concentration. This will turn your concentration a tea colour, so when the concentration is completely clear, you'll know you’ve run out of nematodes.

Continue to apply nematodes to your lawn every 3-6 weeks (or until the problem disappears).

If you're interesting in using nematodes to control your pest problem, contact the Country Basket Garden Centre today, and we can help you get the job done right!


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