Tips for Using Beneficial Nematodes in the Summer

July 9, 2018 | All About Nematodes

Now that summer is underway and temperatures are steadily rising, we are getting a lot of questions about how to effectively order, store and apply beneficial nematodes in the heat. Beneficial nematodes are a great, natural and effective option for controlling a wide variety of pest insects this time of year.

The ideal time to apply nematodes can depend on the type of pest(s) you are targeting. For white grubs, for example, the ideal time to apply is late summer/early fall when the young grubs are most susceptible to nematodes. However, there are many pests that are well controlled with summer nematode applications such as fleas, sod webworms, flea beetles and fire ants.

Nematodes are perishable and care should be taken to make sure they don’t get too hot or too dry. We only ship our nematodes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to ensure the nematodes don’t get stuck in transit over the weekend. We also ship all of our nematode products in insulated boxes with cold packs to ensure their viability. The cold packs do not need to be cold when your shipment arrives. We have done extensive testing to ensure they keep the nematodes cool enough for a long enough period of time to make sure they stay alive and ready to kill pests insects. However, be sure to put the nematodes in the refrigerator soon after delivery until you are ready to apply. Never put nematodes in the freezer! It is especially important to protect your nematodes from UV light exposure and from drying out. So, we recommend you apply in the evening (to avoid exposing the nematodes to direct sunlight) and always water the application area well both before and after application. Regular watering is not typically required, but you may want to continue to water the area periodically if it is particularly hot/dry. You never want the application area to completely dry out, especially in the first couple of weeks after application.

By following these simple tips it is possible to kill pest insects in the summer with beneficial nematodes, even in very hot and dry climates.

As always, happy gardening!