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More Controls for Pest Nematodes

Posted May 13th, 2008 by Beneficial Insectary

Are these products commercially available? To the best of our knowledge, the answer is no […]

We can’t possibly know it all or offer it all, and some of the juicy goodness out there is bound to slip by. Some information is caught by others and brought back to us — and we appreciate that. When this happens, the least we can do is share what we found (or rather what was found for us). The information in this post is an example of this. This information comes to us from a customer, Julie.

Julie had written to comment that there are some mycelium-based products that are also available. This is the information presented to us.

  • Bacterial parasite (Pasteuria penetrans), which produces spores which attach to the nematode, penetrate the cuticle/epidermis, and then reproduces inside the nematode.
  • Amoeba (Theratromyxa weberi), which attaches to the nematode then engulfs and digests the nematode.
  • Tartigrade [Tardigrade] or ‘water bear’ (Hypsibius sp.), captures nematodes (and other soil organisms), pierce the cuticle and then suck out the contents of the nematode body.
  • Turbellarian (Adenoplea sp.), a predatory flatworm which captures nematodes, pierces the cuticle and then swallows the entire nematode.
  • Nematode trapping fungus (Arthrobotrys sp.), which produces a sticky network of mycelium (thread-like filaments) which ensnare nematodes, then absorbs nutrients from the nematode body.
  • Mononch (Mononchus sp.), a predatory nematode which feeds on many species of plant parasitic nematodes and other soil animals.

Julie told us she got this information (quoted directly) — and a neat cartoon — from a USDA ARS Nematology Laboratory Products and Services page titled Adventures in Biocontrol.

As is the case with many such news items like this, the products mentioned may or may not be available. From what we’ve seen, the lag period is about ten years from the time a new research-based item is discovered and published before it becomes commercially available, if ever. That’s just how it is. Businesses aren’t really at fault. It takes a great deal of time and money to bring these tested products to the public, and if demand doesn’t really exist or is minimal, it just won’t happen.

We didn’t want to offer just this info, though, and have done some research for you (a little bit anyway), and we can offer you these links so you can explore these things a little further.

Some of these have been known to us for at least a decade. In the case nematode trapping fungus, we’ve known the existence of it for about twenty-five years. It’s still new to someone, though. And perhaps sharing this information will lead to its commercial availability some day. Until then, thanks to our customer, Julie, we can offer you this basic information now.

Are these products commercially available? To the best of our knowledge, the answer is no, but as was written on the first line of this article… “We can’t possibly know it all or offer it all.” As such, this being the case, if you know of these products, or their availability, or have other information you can contribute, please contact us.

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