Nematodes: Organic Biological Garden Pest Control
I was visiting my friends Wynn and Bob at Creature Safe Place one day, and I noticed that I was not being attacked by mosquitoes which is unusual pretty much anywhere in S. Florida where there is vegetation, but really unusual at Creature Safe Place because it is surrounded by woods and pasture, and they are very close to a creek bed.
I mentioned this and Wynn explained to me that she was using propane mosquito eaters which were working very well. She went on to tell me that in the past she had been having big problems with fleas and didn’t want to use synthetic chemicals for flea control since she had all kinds of wildlife there including iguanas and other creatures that are very sensitive to petrochemicals. Instead she had begun using nematodes and diatomaceous earth to control the flea infestations. The results stunned her. She was very pleased and to this day uses these nematodes and diatomaceous earth (Diatomaceous Earth, or D.E. is the fossilized remains of crustaceans, it is like shards of glass to certain insects.) to keep the fleas under control on her Wildlife Sanctuary.
Now these nematodes are not the nematodes that attack our vegetable plants roots these are nematodes that attack flea larva. There are many different types of nematodes. Remember the nematodes in the compost from the article Invertebrates Of The Compost Pile? Those are yet another nematode. I especially like the idea of nematodes for flea control because they are very narrow and specific. Hopefully they disturb nothing but the life cycle of fleas.
I have decided to mention this in my blog because my Master Gardener classmate Gary has been controlling fleas on his property with synthetic chemicals, and would like another option now that he is trying some No Dig Garden mounds and doesn’t want to disturb the biological life of his new soil with flea toxins.
Wynn gave me the brochure from the company that sold her the beneficial nematodes, and I would like to put a link to their website here for you. If you must control the pests on your property I think this is the best way to do it.