Beneficial nematodes; the natural move towards biological crop protection
Beneficial nematodes are increasingly being used to control pests in an extensive range of crops. Our product Capirel contains the beneficial nematode Steinernema feltiae. The product is used for the control of various insect pests in top fruits such as apples, stone fruits such as peaches, soft fruits such as blueberries, and outdoor vegetables such as onions, asparagus and beans. Click here for a full overview of the targeted pests.
For growers, one of the main incentives to use nematode products is the diminishing role and performance of chemical crop protection products. Either they have been removed by international and local authorities, or pests have become resistant to them. In addition, the list of prohibited pesticides is growing.
The beneficial nematodes in our product Capirel have some special characteristics. The nematodes are cold tolerant, meaning they can be applied both early in the season and towards the end of the season when temperatures drop. They perform well when daily temperatures exceed 10°C, with an optimum between 14 to 26°C, with the added advantage that they can also be used from as low as 5°C. Cold night temperatures will not harm them as long as it does not freeze.
In addition, the Steinernema feltiae nematodes have the mixed characteristic of being able to ambush and cruise to strike prevalent pests in the crop. Cruising nematodes are triggered by volatile compounds and literally track down the prey, detecting insect cues to actively find their host. This mobility makes them unique when compared to chemical pesticides which are often adsorbed on soil particles and cannot move.
Easy to use
Beneficial nematodes offer a broad spectrum biocontrol solution. Capirel is sprayed on crops using commonly used spraying or irrigations systems in the same way that conventional pesticides are introduced, making them easy to use. In this way, they can replace conventional pesticides in many crops and play a complementary role in an IPM strategy. Moreover, they can often be tank-mixed with conventional products, making applications more cost effective for growers (less tractor use, less energy and time taken up).
Responding to the growing demand for this effective biocontrol solution, Koppert recently introduced the beneficial nematode products Capirel and Casea. These new products provide two fast-acting biological solutions for the control of a broad range of pests.