Nematode, Biologicals & Pest Control FAQs

How Do I Get Rid Of Moles In My Garden.

 

Moles can be a nuisance in the garden, as they can dig tunnels and mounds that damage plants and disrupt the soil. Here are some steps you can take to get rid of moles in your garden:

 

Remove their food source: Moles feed on insects and worms, so removing their food source can help to deter them from your garden. Keep the grass short and remove any debris or leaf litter from the garden, as these can attract insects and worms.

 

Use repellents: Repellents, such as those that emit high-frequency sounds or smells, can be effective at keeping moles away from your garden. These repellents can be placed around the perimeter of the garden or along mole tunnels.

 

Use physical barriers: Physical barriers, such as wire mesh or fencing, can be effective at keeping moles out of your garden. Make sure the barriers are buried deep enough to prevent moles from digging under them.

 

Consult with a pest control professional: If you are unable to get rid of the moles on your own, consider consulting with a pest control professional. They can assess the situation and recommend a course of action to get rid of the moles in your garden.

 

Are Slug Pellets Banned?

 

It is not uncommon for certain types of slug pellets to be banned or restricted in some countries or regions. This is often due to concerns about their environmental impact, as many slug pellets contain chemicals that can be harmful to other wildlife and the environment.

 

In the United Kingdom, for example, the use of metaldehyde-based slug pellets has been banned since 2021 due to concerns about the impact on birds, mammals, and aquatic life. In the European Union, the use of metaldehyde-based slug pellets is also restricted.

 

It is important to be aware of any local regulations or restrictions on the use of slug pellets in your area. If you are concerned about the impact of slug pellets on the environment, there are alternative methods of pest control that you can use, such as copper strips, nematodes, or handpicking slugs.

 

For a safe, natural and legal alternative to metaldehyde slug pellets, try our Slug Plug wool pellets, which provide a physical barrier to slugs rather than a poison.

 

How To Get Rid Of Slugs Permanently?

 

Getting rid of slugs permanently can be challenging, as they are prolific reproducers and can quickly repopulate an area. However, there are several steps you can take to control their numbers and reduce the risk of damage to your garden:

 

Remove any sources of shelter: Slugs like to hide in moist, cool places, so removing any sources of shelter, such as piles of leaves or debris, can help to deter them.

 

Use physical barriers: A physical barrier such as Slug Plug wool pellets can be highly effective in acting as a slug deterrent. Similarly, copper tape is highly effective in stopping slugs and snails from affecting areas you don’t want them to.

 

Use slug traps: Slug traps, such as those that use beer or yeast as bait, can be effective at attracting and trapping slugs. Be sure to dispose of any trapped slugs far from your garden.

 

Use nematodes: Nematodes are tiny, parasitic worms that can be effective at controlling slug populations. They can be applied to the soil around plants and will attack and kill slugs.

 

Handpick slugs: Handpicking slugs and removing them from the garden can be effective, especially if you catch them early in the morning or after it has rained.

 

Use slug-resistant plants: Some plants are less attractive to slugs and are less likely to be damaged. Consider incorporating these plants into your garden design.

 

By following these steps, you can help to reduce the number of slugs in your garden and minimize the risk of damage to your plants. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to get rid of slugs permanently. Regular monitoring and control measures will likely be needed to keep their populations in check.

 

What Are Nematodes?

 

Nematodes are small, worm-like organisms that are found in soil and water. There are many different species of nematodes, and some can be beneficial to plants.

 

Beneficial nematodes are often used in organic gardening as a method of pest control. These nematodes are applied to the soil, where they seek out and attack pest insects, such as slugs, grubs, and cutworms. They enter the pest through natural body openings and release bacteria that kill the pest, while the nematodes feed on the dead pest's tissues.

 

In general, nematodes are small and difficult to see with the naked eye. They are typically applied to the soil as a liquid.

 

When To Use Nematodes In The UK?

 

Beneficial nematodes can be used in the UK to control pest insects at any time of year when the soil is above 10°C and moist. However, they are most effective when applied to the soil at a time when the pest insects are in their larval stage.

 

For example, if you are using nematodes to control slugs, it is best to apply them in the spring or fall when slugs are most active. If you are using nematodes to control grubs, it is best to apply them in the late summer or early fall when the grubs are in their larval stage.

 

It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using nematodes, as they can be sensitive to temperature, moisture, and ph. Be sure to apply the nematodes to the soil when the conditions are favourable and water them in well to help them establish in the soil.

 

It may also be helpful to monitor the pest population and reapply the nematodes as needed to ensure their effectiveness.

 

Where Can I Buy Nematodes?

 

You can buy Nematodes from us here at Gardening Naturally. We stock many different types of nematodes for all kinds of pests from ants to vine weevils. You can see our range of Nematodes by clicking here.

 

What are the orange headed grubs in my lawn?

 

Orange grubs in lawns are often identified as the larvae of the chafer beetle. The grubs’ heads are orange in colour and have a C-shaped white body. They can be found in the soil beneath lawns and other turf areas. They typically measure around 2-3cm in length and feed on the roots of grass, causing brown, dead patches to appear on lawns.

 

How do I tell the difference between chafer grubs and vine weevil grubs?

 

Chafer grubs look very similar to vine weevil grubs, but there are a few distinct differences.

 

Size: Chafer grubs are larger than vine weevil grubs, typically measuring around 2-3cm in length, while vine weevil grubs are smaller and measure around 1-1.5cm in length.

 

Shape: Chafer grubs have a curved, "C" shape to their body, while vine weevil grubs have a more "S" shape.

 

Colour: Chafer grubs are creamy white in colour and have an orange/brown head, while vine weevil grubs are white with a slightly translucent body.

 

 

Why are there white grubs in my lawn?

 

The most common types of white grubs is chafer grubs, also known as chafer beetles. These pests are the larvae of certain types of beetles, including the European chafer, the garden chafer, and the summer chafer. They typically have a white or cream-coloured body and can be found in the soil beneath lawns and other turf areas.

 

The damage caused by chafer grubs in lawns can appear as brown, dead patches, and it can attract other pests such as foxes and birds which can further damage the lawn by digging up the soil in search of the grubs.

 

One of the most effective and safe ways to control white grubs like chafer grubs is by using nematodes. Nematodes are tiny beneficial worms that can be applied to lawns and other turf areas to kill white grubs. They work by entering the grubs' bodies and releasing bacteria that cause disease. Nematodes are completely safe for humans, pets, and the environment, making them an excellent choice for controlling white grubs.

 

What are chafer grubs and how do I identify which chafer grub I have in my garden?

 

There are several types of chafer beetles that can be found in the UK, each with their unique characteristics and lifecycle. All of them can be found in grub state within turf, where they feed on roots and decaying plant material.

 

The garden chafer is the most commonly seen chafer in the UK and has a one-year lifecycle. The adults fly in early June, breed, and lay their eggs all within about a 2-week period. The larvae feed on roots throughout the summer and through to the following spring when they pupate and then emerge again as adults around early June.

 

Another type of chafer beetle is the Summer chafer which emerges as an adult in the summer months (between June and August). They then breed in the evenings and lay eggs in the grass crown. The eggs develop into larvae and feed on roots and debris for 2 years before emerging as adults.

 

The cock chafer is the first of the chafer beetles to appear each year. Emerging as adults between May and June but can be as early as April (this is why they are sometimes called the May bug). They breed and lay their eggs overnight, so they are not often seen. The eggs hatch in a few weeks, and the larvae live in the soil profile for 3 years. They move up towards the surface in the summer months and head down the soil profile in the winter to escape the frost, emerging as adults around May.

 

There is the Welsh chafer, the adults breed in the summer and lay their eggs that hatch in the autumn. The eggs hatch, and the larvae live in the soil and feed on roots for 4 or 5 years before pupating in their final year in the autumn before emerging as adults the following spring.

 

Lastly, The European Chafer is another type of chafer Beetle that can be found in the UK, it has a one-year lifecycle, the adults fly in early June, breed and lay eggs on the ground and the eggs hatch in a few weeks, and the larvae live in the soil profile for 1 year before pupating and emerging as adults the following spring.

 

Among all the ways to control chafer beetles, using nematodes is considered one of the most effective forms of control. Nematodes are small, microscopic worms that infect and kill the larvae of chafer beetles, preventing them from damaging plants and lawns. They are safe, natural, and an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

 

What does chafer grub damage to lawn look like?

 

Chafer grub damage to lawns is a common issue that can cause significant damage to lawns and other turf areas. The damage caused by chafer grubs appears as brown, dead patches in lawns. This is because the grubs feed on the roots of grass, causing the grass to die. These patches can vary in size and can be found scattered throughout the lawn or in specific areas. The damage is often more severe in the summer months when the grubs are most active. Additionally, as the grubs feed on the roots, the affected areas may feel spongy or loose underfoot.

 

In addition to the visible damage, chafer grubs can also attract other pests, which can further damage lawns by digging up the soil in search of the grubs. This can lead to larger, more extensive dead patches and can make the lawn look unsightly.

 

It is important to address chafer grub infestations as soon as possible as the longer the infestation is left untreated, the more extensive the damage will be and the harder it will be to revive the lawn. Identifying the signs of chafer grub damage and taking appropriate action can help prevent extensive damage and save your lawn.

 

What are the white-bodied grubs in my lawn?

 

White-bodied grubs in lawns are likely to be the larvae of the chafer beetle. The common chafer is a type of beetle that is found throughout the UK and Europe. The grubs have a white, C-shaped body with a brown/orange head and can be found in the soil beneath lawns and other turf areas. Grubs, often measuring between 2-3cm, are known to cause significant damage to lawns by feasting on the roots of grass. The adult beetles responsible for laying these grubs are most active during the months of May and June. Their eggs hatch into grubs during the summer, which continue to feed on grass roots.

 

What are leatherjackets?

 

Leatherjackets are the larvae of crane flies, also known as daddy long-legs. They are a common garden pest that can be found in lawns and other turf areas. They have a characteristic dark, leathery skin, which gives them their name. They are typically about 2-3cm long and have six legs. They spend most of their time in the soil feeding on the roots of grass, which can cause brown, dead patches on lawns. They are most active at night and during the autumn and spring. Adult crane flies can be seen flying around lights at night, they do not harm plants or humans, but their larvae can cause damage to lawns and turf.

 

What are the black grubs in my soil?

 

Black grubs found in lawns are usually the larvae of the cranefly, also known as daddy longlegs. They have a distinct appearance, with a black, cylindrical body and measures around 2-3cm in length. They are commonly found in lawns and other grassy areas and are a common problem for many homeowners.

 

Leatherjackets feed on the roots of grass, which leads to the damage of the lawn. This damage can be particularly severe if the infestation is large and left untreated for a prolonged period of time. In addition to causing damage to lawns, leatherjackets can also damage other plants and crops, making them a pest that needs to be controlled.

 

Adult craneflies, or daddy longlegs lay eggs in the soil, which hatch into grubs that feed on the roots of grass during the summer months.

 

 

What does leatherjacket damage to lawns look like?

 

Leatherjacket damage to lawns typically appears as brown, dead patches on the turf. The damage is caused by the leatherjackets feeding on the roots of the grass, causing the grass to die. The affected areas may also feel spongy or loose underfoot. The damage is often more severe in the autumn and spring months, when the leatherjackets are most active, and their feeding is at its peak. The affected areas can be small or large, and the dead patches may be scattered throughout the lawn or concentrated in specific areas. Which can further damage lawns by digging up the soil in search of the leatherjackets.

 

How to remove adult vine weevils from pots?

 

Handpicking: One of the easiest ways to remove adult vine weevils from pots is to handpick them. Check your plants regularly, especially in the evening when they are most active, and remove any adult vine weevils that you find.

 

Vine weevil nematodes: Another option to consider is using vine weevil nematodes. These are tiny, beneficial nematodes that can be applied to the soil of the pots to kill the vine weevil larvae. They can be applied using a watering can or a sprayer.

 

Keep the area clean: Keeping the area around the pots clean and free of debris can also help prevent adult vine weevils from laying eggs in the soil. Regularly remove fallen leaves and debris and dispose of them properly.

 

It's important to note that using a combination of these methods will be more effective in controlling the adult vine weevils and preventing them from laying eggs in the soil.

 

How do you get rid of vine weevils?

 

Getting rid of vine weevils can be challenging, but there are several methods that can be used to control and prevent their infestation. One of the most effective methods is using biological control methods like nematodes. These are tiny, beneficial worms that can be applied to the soil where the vine weevils are found. The nematodes will seek out and infect the vine weevil larvae, killing them and preventing them from causing damage to the plants. Vine weevil nematodes can be bought from garden centres, or online and are easy to apply using a watering can or sprayer.

 

Another effective method is using cultural control methods like keeping the area clean of debris. Vine weevils lay their eggs in soil and debris, so it is important to keep the area around the soil clean by removing fallen leaves and debris and disposing of them properly. This will help to prevent adult vine weevils from laying eggs in the soil and can significantly reduce the number of vine weevils in the area.

 

Monitoring for adult vine weevils is also important. Adult vine weevils can be active during the evening and night, it's important to check the plants regularly, especially during this time, and remove any adult vine weevils that are found. This will prevent them from laying eggs in the soil and can help to reduce the population of vine weevils in the area.

 

You can also trap vine weevils with NemaTop traps. The NemaTop trap contains 2.5 million insect-pathogenic nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae) that are embedded in a gel formulation which is pressed into the grooves of the specially designed wooden board. The boards are placed face down, directly onto the ground beneath your plants where the adult beetles hide during the day, the nematodes penetrate the weevil, feeding on them and leaving them dead. This method takes advantage of the adult vine weevils’ nocturnal behaviour and provides a unique, biological control.

 

In summary, getting rid of vine weevils can be done by using a combination of methods, biological control methods like nematodes, and cultural control methods like keeping the area clean of debris and monitoring for adult weevils.

 

How best to treat slugs naturally?

 

Copper barriers: Slugs are sensitive to copper and will not cross a copper barrier. Copper tape or copper mesh can be placed around planters, pots, or raised beds to create a physical barrier that slugs will not cross.

 

Beer traps: Slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer and will crawl into a shallow dish of beer and become trapped. The beer traps should be placed in the evening when slugs are most active and should be emptied and refilled with fresh beer every few days.

 

Handpicking: Manual slug removal is a simple, yet effective way of controlling their populations in your garden. The best time to carry out this method is during the low-light hours of dawn or dusk when slugs are most active. Use a flashlight to locate them easily and dispose of them by placing them in a solution of soapy water or relocating them to a spot far from your prized plants.

 

Slug nematodes: Slug nematodes provide an eco-friendly solution for managing slug populations in the garden. When nematodes are introduced into the soil they infect and cause slugs to cease feeding, resulting in their death. This natural method of slug control is highly effective, but timing and conditions must be carefully considered to attain optimal results. By using slug nematodes, gardeners can effectively curb slug populations without relying on harmful chemicals.

 

How to kill slugs in gardens with pets?

 

When it comes to controlling slugs in a garden with pets, it is crucial to use methods that are not just effective but also safe for both the pets and the environment. Here are some options to consider.

 

Use physical barriers: Copper barriers such as copper tape or mesh can be placed around planters, pots, or raised beds to create a physical barrier that slugs will not cross. This is a safe method for pets as it does not involve any chemicals.

 

Try Beer traps: Slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer and will crawl into a shallow dish of beer and become trapped.

 

Handpicking: This method involves physically removing slugs from the garden by hand, this can be done during the evening or early morning when slugs are most active, and a flashlight can be helpful for finding them. Slugs can be placed in a bucket of soapy water to kill them, or they can be relocated to an area away from your garden.

 

Slug nematodes: These are tiny parasitic worms that can be used to control slug populations in the garden. They are applied to the soil and infect slugs,causing them to stop feeding and eventually die. Slug nematodes are a natural and effective method of controlling slugs, but they need to be applied at the right time and under the right conditions for best results.

 

What is the best way to treat slugs?

 

The best way to treat slugs can vary depending on the specific situation and the level of infestation. However, one effective method that is considered safe for the environment is the use of biological controls, specifically nematodes.

 

Slug nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that infect and kill slugs. They are applied to the soil and when slugs come in contact with them, they become infected, stop feeding, and eventually die. These nematodes are species specific and only target slugs.

 

When using nematodes, it's important to follow the instructions carefully and apply them at the right time and under the right conditions for best results. They should be applied in the evening when the soil is cool and moist, and when the soil temperature is above 5C. It's also important to ensure that the soil is not too dry or too wet (completely flooded, nematodes are generally fine in the rain), as this can affect the survival and effectiveness of the nematodes.

 

It's also important to note that slug nematodes are a preventative measure and will not eliminate an existing infestation of slugs, but it can be a good strategy for preventing future infestations. Additionally, slug nematodes can be an effective measure when used in conjunction with other slug control methods such as copper barriers, or beer traps.

 

Can slug nematodes kill pets?

 

Slug nematodes are a biological control method that specifically target slugs, and they are safe for use around pets. They are not harmful to animals or humans.

 

When used as directed, slug nematodes should not harm pets. They only infect and kill slugs and do not affect other beneficial organisms or animals in the soil. It's always important to read and follow the instructions carefully when using any pest control method.

 

It's also important to note that slug nematodes are not toxic, and even if a pet were to ingest a packet of them, it may cause an upset stomach but should not cause any serious harm. However, it's always better to keep them out of reach of pets to prevent any accidental ingestion.

 

How do slug nematodes work?

 

Slug nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that infect and kill slugs. They are applied to the soil and when slugs come into contact with them, they become infected.

 

The nematodes enter the slug's body, and once inside, they release bacteria that multiply and cause sepsis (blood poisoning) in the slug, this makes the slug stop feeding and eventually die. The nematodes reproduce inside the slug, and when the slug dies, the nematodes release new generations of nematodes into the soil, which can continue to infect other slugs.

 

Slug nematodes are species-specific, which means they only target slugs and do not affect other beneficial organisms or animals in the soil. They can be effective in controlling slug populations, but they need to be applied at the right time and under the right conditions for best results.

 

In summary, slug nematodes are a biological control method that work by infecting and killing slugs through a bacterial infection, they are safe for use around pets and other beneficial organisms and need to be applied at the right time and under the right conditions for best results.

 

What are slug nematodes?

 

Slug nematodes are a type of parasitic roundworm that infect and kill slugs. They are used as a form of biological pest control in agriculture and horticulture, as they can help to control populations of slugs that damage crops. Slug nematodes are applied to the soil, where they infect and kill the slugs that come into contact with them. They are considered to be a safe and effective method of controlling slug populations, as they only target slugs and do not harm other beneficial organisms in the soil.

 

How are slug nematodes made?

 

The flask culture.

 

The first step is to mix a small number of nematodes with a bacterium specific to each species. This helps to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, with the bacterium being stored in the gut of the nematode which helps it to eventually feed on its host.

 

At this point the nematodes multiply and, once they reach maturity, are transferred to ‘the kitchen’.

 

Here the ‘food’ for the nematodes is prepared, which is similar to the first step, but on a much larger scale. Once mixed, it passes to the fermenter.

 

Fermentation

 

This is where the large-scale mass-production takes place in specially designed fermenters. In this environmentally controlled environment, the nematodes are allowed maximum growth, multiplying considerably.

 

They are then transferred to the main production vessels where fermentation takes place, which can take between 14 and 28 days depending upon the species.

 

Downstream process

 

The nematode solution is passed through a bespoke centrifuge, which uses centrifugal force to separate the nematodes from the fermentation media.

 

They’re then stored in wash tanks where they’re cleaned and kept cool. Once the water is all drained away, the nematodes are mixed with a small amount of inert powder which provides stability and quality.

 

The nematodes are then packaged and stored in largescale refrigerators before being distributed.