Steinernema feltiae

Steinernema feltiae

Steinernema feltiae nematodes


Steinernema feltiae is a species of beneficial nematode commonly used in biological pest control. These microscopic roundworms are parasitic and are known for their effectiveness in controlling a variety of pests, including flies (i.e fungus gnats), thrips, beetles, caterpillars, lace bugs and sawflies. Steinernema feltiae nematodes infect their hosts by entering through natural openings, releasing symbiotic bacteria that kill the host within a few days. They are often applied to the soil as a biological control method to target pest larvae, offering a natural and environmentally friendly approach to pest management in agriculture and horticulture.

Steinernema feltiae nematodes for pest control

Steinernema feltiae is known to control a variety of pests, including:

Steinernema feltiae nematode products

Koppert offers various Steinernema feltiae nematode products for biological pest control. These include:


How do Steinernema feltiae nematodes work?

Steinernema feltiae nematodes control pests through a process called parasitism. When applied to the soil or sprayed onto plant foliage, these microscopic roundworms actively seek out their target pests. Once they locate a suitable host, Steinernema feltiae nematodes penetrate the pest's body through natural openings.

Once inside the pest, the nematodes release symbiotic bacteria, typically of the genus Xenorhabdus, which quickly multiply and cause septicemia, ultimately killing the host within a few days. The nematodes then feed and reproduce within the cadaver of the dead host, resulting in the emergence of a new generation of nematodes that can continue to seek out and infect other pests in the area.

In this way, Steinernema feltiae nematodes effectively control pests by parasitizing and killing them, providing a natural and environmentally friendly method of pest management in agriculture and horticulture.

How to apply Steinernema feltiae nematodes

  • ​​​​Nematodes can be applied using an airblast sprayer, a vehicle-mounted spray unit, a backpack sprayer or through a sprinkler system
  • To avoid blockage, all filters should be removed, especially if finer than 0.3 mm (50 mesh)
  • Use a maximum pressure of 20 bar/290 psi (on nozzle)
  • The spray nozzle opening should be at least 0.5 mm (500 microns – 35 mesh) - preferably high flow rate cone nozzle types
  • Continuous mixing should take place to prevent nematodes sinking to the bottom of the spray tank
  • Avoid sprayers equipped with centrifugal or piston pumps
  • Water tank temperature must not exceed 25°C/77°F and pH must be between 4 and 8
  • Distribute the spraying solution evenly over the soil/medium surface

Application through irrigation systems:

  • Pressure-compensated irrigation systems are recommended. If not available, spray or drench applications are recommended. For injection through Dosatron/Venturi systems, please contact your local Koppert representative for specific advice
  • Spray the solution as soon as it is prepared and within a short timeframe. Do not store mixed suspensions

Best conditions for use of Steinernema feltiae

  • Steinernema feltiae is active between 10-31°C/50-88°F but performs best at temperatures between 14-26°C/57-79°F
  • Soil or air temperature below 5°C/41°F and above 35°C/95°F can be lethal
  • Nematodes are susceptible to ultraviolet light (UV): do not use them in direct sunlight
  • The moisture content of the soil must be kept high for several days after application. When possible, irrigate the crop before and right after application
  • For foliar application, spray nematodes when relative humidity will exceed 75% for several hours after the treatment
  • Adding an adjuvant and/or an anti-desiccant/humectant can be beneficial. Ask your Koppert representative/distributor for more information
  • Spray in the evening (or morning in some cases) allowing nematodes to work for several hours within the optimal range of temperature and humidity, as described above