Beneficial nematodes continue to gain popularity as a proven means of eradication of pests in the garden, with the method now accounting for over a quarter of all UK slug control. BASF, the UK’s only manufacturer of beneficial nematodes, explains how they work, and how they should not be confused with non-beneficial nematodes.
Nematodes are micro-organisms which occur naturally in the soil where they hunt down and attack pests, with each nematode species having its own specific prey, meaning that they will harm their prey, and only their prey. BASF has the largest specialist nematode production facility in the EU – and the only one in Britain – growing trillions of beneficial nematodes for use in their Nemasys range of pest control products.
Nemasys products include a control for slugs, leatherjackets, ants, vine weevils and chafer grubs, as well as another product which will protect a fruit and vegetable garden or allotment from the wide range of pests that can be present there.
Non-beneficial nematodes, on the other hand, are so-called because they cause harm to the garden rather than benefit it. This is because their target species are lawns, plants and crops rather than pests. Different non-beneficial nematodes, or ‘plant parasitic nematodes’, will attack different plants, usually by destroying their roots and preventing them from being able to take in water and nutrients.
In the same way that these non-beneficial nematodes launch an invisible attack on plants, beneficial nematodes act as undercover agents, seeking out garden pests.
BASF’s Gavin Wood explains the important difference between the two, “The beneficial nematodes found in our Nemasys products have become incredibly popular in the past few years. However, some people do still get confused between the difference between our helpful nematodes and the plant parasitic nematodes that can wreak havoc in the garden. We’re keen to spread the message that beneficial nematodes for pest control will not harm your plants!”
A major benefit of the Nemasys range is that it can be used with absolutely no side effects or harm to children, pets or non-target species such as birds or hedgehogs, making it ideal for anyone who is concerned about keeping their garden or allotment productive, without violating their organic values, or having to buy multiple types of protection.
The Nemasys range is as easy to use as watering the garden and can, if desired, be used in conjunction with other pest and weed control measures.
You can follow Nemasys on Twitter @BASF_Nemasys_UK and find them on Facebook by searching for @BASF.Nemasys.UK
All Nemasys products are available online.