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My Nematodes Are Drowning!

by | Mar 27, 2008

I don’t know about any of you, but I have been in a terrible battle this past season with fleas, and so I went into serious prevention to get ahead for the coming season. I won’t bore you with all the details, only the nematode yard treatment part that appears to be working and was pretty funny after it was all over.

Because of our choice of growing cut flowers organically, I of course would not choose to use any pesticide chemicals in my yard. So my only alternative was naturally occurring microorganisms known as beneficial nematodes to treat fleas on lawns.

I ordered these nematodes online and they arrived in a small plastic bag with a moistened sponge inside and instructions to apply with a hose end sprayer ASAP and to store in refrigerator until that time. So I toss in frig for a few days till I get time. I will say now nematodes are living little creatures and will not work if dead.

So this it how it all unfolded: the instructions on the Nematodes said to mix the contents of the plastic bag and sponge with 1 gallon of water, being sure to rinse the bag and sponge thoroughly. So I think OK, I’ll drop the bag and the sponge into the bucket of water to allow those little guys to migrate into the water while I go out and repair the end of the hose so I can use the hose-end sprayer. First mistake, I didn’t notice that the instructions mentioned that the nematodes will survive in oxygen rich water, but should not be left in standing water (like my bucket) for more than 2 hours. I go out to repair the hose… my memory had lapsed to just how hard it is to replace the end of a hose. I tried everything, soap to lubricate and then I made the call, to my husband. “Are you anywhere close to home?” of course not, he is over 40 miles away and not coming anytime soon. OK I confess what I am doing, and ask for any suggestions. He of course has a couple and we hang up so I can try. I still can’t get it. Now is the moment when I go in and read the instructions that the clock of life is ticking away for my $90 nematodes—and I have already burnt 25 minutes messing around with the hose. The phone rings, it is my man wondering if I got the hose fixed, “no”, then he has the best ideas I’ve heard. “We need a new hose up at the house anyway, why don’t you just jump in the truck and go get a new hose and quick—your nematodes are drowning!” So off I go with a little more then an hour left for my nematodes. I get to the store, make it to the hoses, pick out what I want and make my way to the register and whoa… is that who I think it is—oh no I’ll never be able to break away from them, did they see me? No I’ll go the other way. I say to myself “so sorry I just don’t have time to chit chat—my nematodes are drowning!” So I checkout and make the get away with 1 hour left.

I finally get home, screw all the hoses together, (I have over 1 acre to spray), pour the nematode concentrate into the hose sprayer and screw the end of the hose to the hose faucet and turn it on. No water…………………I could not believe it. I now have like 45 minutes left to spray our entire yard before you know what starts to happen. I call my husband again and calmly asked if this was a cruel joke? No, and it has a simple fix. The water had been cut off for the winter and he then told me how to turn the water on. I was finally able to spray the nematodes all over our yard and I finished in just the nick of time!

This is how some of my days seem to go, but they sure make for good stories and I can feel really good that my nematodes are gobbling up flea larva and causing no harm to humans, pets and wildlife!

If you make a purchase please tell them Lisa Ziegler sent you:

Click here for nematodes and other organic household flea controls

Happy Gardening!

Lisa Z