Beneficial Nematodes For Biological Pest Control
While plant parasitic nematodes are a common soil pest that affect plants, entomopathogenic or beneficial nematodes play an important role in the biological control of many pests. Entomopathogenic nematodes are becoming increasingly vital when attempting to treat pests that are difficult to control, with many chemical treatments no longer viable or now unavailable.
Sophisticated & Safe
As partners with nature, Koppert use the natural behaviour of nematodes to support and protect crops. Nematodes are alive; they move and hunt their prey instinctively. They can be used above and below ground to protect crops against pests. And unlike chemical pesticides, which trigger an immune response in pests enabling them to adapt, nematodes remain highly effective over time. Free of concerns about the diminishing performance of conventional pesticides and even pesticide resistance, growers rely on nematodes as a permanent solution for crop protection.
That solution is safe for growers and consumers alike.
How Do They Work?
After application, the nematodes search for their prey. Once they have found a host insect, they penetrate it through its natural body openings or skin. The nematodes then release the pathogenic bacteria they carry with them. These bacteria kill the insect and digest it from the inside. The nematodes feed on the tissues of the dead insect and reproduce in large numbers. The pest insect dies within a few days. The nematodes that emerge then start their search for a new host.
Beneficial nematodes are an important aid in the fight against all kinds of insects. Traditionally, they were mainly used against soil pests, but research and field experience show that it is possible to use them on leaves as well. This development opens up a world of new possibilities for biological control.
Beneficial nematodes measure much less than a millimetre, so you can’t see them with the naked eye. Great care and precision needs to go into the production of these ‘little heroes’ that are bred for the biological control of a host of agricultural pests by leading biocontrol company, Koppert.
More than 35 years’ experience has gone into the selection, production and quality control of a specific range of these nematodes that help to keep our fruit, vegetables and ornamental crops free of pests without chemical residues.
Each of the three entomopathogenic nematodes produced by Koppert has been selected to target specific pest insects and Koppert produces specific strains of Steinernema feltiae, Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora for this purpose. They are selectively applied to combat a wide range of pests such as the pupae and larvae of thrips, the larvae of black vine weevil and several beetles, caterpillars, the larvae of sciarid flies and many others.
The potential of beneficial nematodes to support the transition to sustainable agriculture is enormous. And because of Koppert’s dedication to research, the opportunities for replacing conventional pesticides with natural, living alternatives will only continue to grow. Their focus on continuous improvement has already led to today’s biodegradable, easy to use, and affordable spray solution. With beneficial nematodes, growers spray a solution that is full of life! Free of residue and ready for a 100% sustainable future in agriculture.