|Produced by Hydro-Gardens
Hydro-Gardens raises “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” to insure freshness, quality and prompt shipping to our customers. They are reared on ‘insect hosts’. Only those “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” that promptly kill host insects, are selected for reproduction. We know they work, because we document their behavior. If “Guardian” can enter a host insect, they will kill the insect within 24 – 48 hours, then reproduce within the insect, thus providing long-term control.
What is it?
Technically, nematodes are one of the most abundant groups of living creatures in the world, with species ranging from pests of plants and animals to beneficial species like the ones we offer. This microscopic creature can survive in oxygen rich water or in the root zone of your plants. Our nematodes will not harm plants, animals or humans.
Why Use Nematodes?
The one problem that we perceive with most biological control items is they only work for specific pests. If a different pest enters your operation and you do not have a specific predator or parasite for that pest; this may force you to use an insecticide, probably killing your beneficials along with the pest. The biological battlefield needed a ‘broad spectrum’ killer to help combat these ‘other’ pests. We believe our Nematodes provide this needed ‘broad spectrum’ biological insect control.
Hydro-Gardens raises our Nematodes to insure freshness, quality and prompt shipping to our customers. They are reared on ‘insect hosts’. Only those that promptly kill host insects, are selected for reproduction. Our “Quality Control” measures continually monitor these nematodes and we will only select those that are of the highest standards and will be the most aggressive solution to your problem. We know they work, because we document their behavior. If our Nematodes can enter a host insect, they will kill the insect within 24 – 48 hours, then reproduce within the insect, thus providing long-term control.
Our Application Rates
We recommend 1,000,000 nematodes per 2000 square feet (500 per sq/ft). When you start comparing our suggested application rates to that of some other competitors, you will find we recommend much less. The reason for this is that the initial studies that were done on nematodes were done in comparison to chemicals that were being used. They were testing them based on a 72 hour kill rate (just like the chemicals recommended). In order to get the same kill rate as the chemicals, they claim you need to apply at a rate of 25,000 nematodes per square foot. These tests didn’t take in to account “Long Term Control”. Our nematodes will reproduce, where the chemicals have to be reapplied. Over time, our nematodes will still be there working for you in much larger numbers than you originally applied. In addition, our nematodes have been reared to be more aggressive and kill quicker than other competitors nematodes. This is true because our nematodes are reared on “Live Hosts” for seed-stock and commercial production. Most other commercially available nematodes are produced in an incubator using an artificial diet.
What this means to you? Insects can build up a resistance to chemicals, but they cannot build up anything to our nematodes. Only about 5% of other commercially available nematodes might reproduce. This means you will have to buy more and spend your time spraying again. We provide you with a quality product that will be around for the long haul. We know that our nematodes will be able to control your problem areas with a few applications. Within a month or two, your entire area should be protected, this saves you time and money.
|Guardian Nematodes – Steinernematid Spp.Lawn Patrol – Heterorhabditatid Spp. also availableWhat is it?
Technically, “Guardian” is a sub strain of the Steinernematidae family, and “Lawn Patrol” is a sub strain of the Heterorhabditatid family. Beneficial, entomogenous (insect parasitic) nematodes. Nematodes are one of the most abundant groups of living creatures in the world, with species ranging from pests of plants and animals to beneficial species like this one. This microscopic creature can survive in oxygen rich water or in the root zone of your plants. “Guardian / Lawn Patrol” will not harm plants, animals or humans.
What does it attack?
“Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” actively searches for insects, insect pupa and insect larvae in places that are constantly moist. Among the more than 250 susceptible insect pests are: cutworms, corn rootworms, strawberry root weevils, European corn borers, white grubs, sod webworms, termites, and many other insects that spend part of their life cycle in the root zone. We use “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” to control thrips, “fungus gnats” (relating to several thousand species of flies in the same family ) and other root zone pests. “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” do not kill other types of nematodes. We have been rearing beneficial nematodes since 1986. We have located a sub-strain we feel is far superior to any used in the past. Under ideal conditions, “Guardian” can survive 90 days or more without a host insect. Once “Guardian” locate and enter a host, it will kill the host, reproduce within it and the offspring will exit in search of more host insects; repeating the cycle.
What do they attack?
“Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” actively searches for insects, insect pupa and insect larvae in places that are constantly moist. “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” can be used to control;
|Japanese beetle grubs||White grubs||Army worms||Cut worms||Measuring worms (loopers)||Southern rootworm|
|Spruce budworm||Webworms||Sod webworms||Wire worms||Chinch bugs||Algae gnats|
|Fungus gnats||Gall gnats||Bark beetle||Bess beetle||Banded cucumber beetle||Click beetle|
|Colorado potato beetle||Flea beetles||Green June beetle||Pine beetle||May/June beetles||Mexican bean beetle|
|Scarab beetle||Southern pine beetle||Black fly||European Crane Fly||Fruit fly||Saw flies|
|European apply sawfly||Field cricket||Morman cricket||Southern mole cricket||Tawny mole cricket||Common cockchafer|
|European chafer||Masked chafers||Rose Chafer’s||Carpenter moth||Codling moth||Annual bluegrass weevil|
|Black vine weevil||Boll weevil||Pecan weevil||Pine weevil||Sweetpotato Weevil||Peach tree borer|
|Round headed borers||Stem borer||Wood borers||Billbugs||Bluegrass billbug||Hunting billbug|
|Imported fire ant||Assassin bugs||Stink bugs||Apple leaf roller||Black turf grass ataenius||Gall midges|
Many other insects that spend part of their life cycle in the root zone can also be controlled. “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” do not kill other types of nematodes. We have been rearing beneficial nematodes since 1986, and have located a sub-strain we feel is far superior to those used in the past. Under ideal conditions, “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” can survive more than 90 days without a host insect. Once “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” locate and enter a host, it will kill the host, reproduce within it and the offspring will exit in search of more host insects; repeating the cycle.
Why use “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes”?
(for application rates and more information Tode Paper (PDF Format)
The one problem that we perceive with most biological control items is they only work for specific pests. If a different pest enters your operation and you do not have a specific predator or parasite for that pest; this may force you to use an insecticide, probably killing your beneficials along with the pest. The biological battlefield needed a ‘broad spectrum’ killer to help combat these ‘other’ pests. We believe “Guardian” provides this needed ‘broad spectrum’ biological insect control.
Storage and Application
(for application rates and more information Tode Paper (PDF Format)
“Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” are usually applied in the evening, directly into the soil or growing media, however some growers spray their foliage in the evenings and report successful results against some insects on their foliage by using Organic Stylet Oil to protect the nematodes from desiccation. “Guardian” can be temporarily stored in a refrigerator at 40o-50oF. You should mix the package into one gallon of water to create a concentrate. “Guardian” can withstand pressures up to 300 PSI, therefore, you can apply them using your injector system, or dilute them with more water and use a pump sprayer, hose-end sprayer, watering can or pail. They will survive in oxygen rich water; such as nutrient film technique (NFT) systems, but may “drown” if you leave them in standing water for more than 24 hours. “Watering in” will help “Guardian / Lawn Patrol Nematodes” migrate to the protected area within root zone. Great for the greenhouse or outdoors!!
(SDS on Guardian, Gnat Patrol or Lawn Patrol) Nematodes SDS PDF Format
Which of your nematode products would be best for controlling ants, grubs, fleas, and ticks?
Bob, I would suggest you get the Guardian / Gnat Patrol mix. This would have a better mixture for those specific targets. However, when you place the order, tell the order taker that you are also targeting fleas & ticks. We can alter the mix slightly to include more of the strain (steinernema feltiae) that have been proven to go after fleas & ticks better.
I’ve been using lawn patrol for at least 10 years and have had great results. I was not aware of the gnat patrol mix which sounds as if it is better for killing fleas. But I’m confused since gnats and fleas are so different. Can you educate me further please
Bill, all nematode products that we sell are a mixture of several different strains.
Gnat Patrol is mostly made up of the Steinernema feltiae strain. This stain is smaller than the Guardian or Lawn Patrol strains (Guardian Nematodes – Steinernematid Spp / Lawn Patrol – Heterorhabditatid Spp). Since fungus gnats and fleas are smaller pests, the Gnat Patrol is more suited to control them. Even the Guardian / Lawn Patrol mixture has had some of the Steinernema feltiae strain in it all along and most likely why you have had success with the gnats so far. We just put more of this strain for the Gnat Patrol for customers who are targeting these smaller pests.
You could order any of these depending on your other problems and make a note online or tell the order taker, you are targeting fleas or gnats and we can adjust the mixture to your specific needs.
I’ve used Guardian / Gnat Patrol for several years now and it’s great. Can I use a sprayer used for fungicides, Messenger, and fertilizer (NO insecticides)? Thanks
Janis, our nematodes can withstand pressures up to 300 PSI, therefore, you can apply them using your injector system, or dilute them with more water and use a pump sprayer, hose-end sprayer, watering can or pail. We usually like to have you use separate sprayers but, if you have not used anything specifically listed as a nematicide, you should be fine. For application rates and more information Tode Paper (PDF Format)
Thank you, Greg. I think to be on the safe side I’m going to devote a sprayer just for the nematodes. Janis
Can I apply Guardian / Lawn Patrol to a mulched area (and thoroughly water in) or should I remove the mulch? It’s about 2-3″ of hardwood mulch. Thank you
Absolutely you can. As long as you have a good watering in, the ground under the mulch should be damp. The nematodes can move around 1” per hour so it would only take a couple hours at the worst for them to get down into the soil.
Any suggestions what to use for fire ants? They are in my garden, yard, and acreage that has goats and sheep grazing. Thanks!
There has not been any test that conclusively shows nematodes can effectively control fire ants. However, customers that have used our Guardian/Lawn Patrol to control other insects have reported a large reduction in fire ant mounds as well as control of other insects. One thing is for sure, if you try nematodes for ant control, you have to apply them with minimal water. If you flood the mound, the queen will pack up and move so you have to be very careful as to how much water you use. I can’t give you a definite answer either way based on studies, I can only tell you that we have had some successful reports. Hope this helps
My yard is susceptible to grub worms so I chemically treat it in the spring and fall. How long would I need to wait after a chemical treatment to use the nematodes? Also, birds have a party in my yard eating who knows what. Will they eat the nematodes too?
Karen, it very much depends on what you used. The only thing you need to worry about applying would be anything that is listed as a “nematicide”. It is fairly rare that something would have that so most products are OK. I would also tell you to go by what the label says on your product as far as the residual or re-entry. This label should tell you what you need to know. The birds are most likely trying to eat the grub worms as well. Birds will not directly eat nematodes but they might get a grub worm that has been parasatized but other than that, they won’t mess with your nematodes (they are too small). I bet the nematodes are a cheaper and better control for a Spring & Fall application than the chemical you are using.
termites. only termites. what is the best way to get rid of them and with what strain of nematode?
Unfortunately, nematodes are not effective on termites. Termites put a coating on their tunnels that keep them dry therefore, the nematodes can’t get in. Also termites eat their dead so we don’t know if they are killed when eaten or by eating their dead, they keep the nematodes from reproducing. Sorry, I would suggest you call a company like Orkin or Terminix or the like.
What do you recommend to get rid of chiggers?
John – This one is answered on our F.A.Q. page: Are nematodes effective on ticks or chiggers?
They do not work for chiggers. Chiggers spend their life above ground. Nematodes only work on things that spend part or all of their lifecycle in the ground. You can try Botanigard or other spray. You might just try Orkin or Terminix or the like and see what they say.
What is recommended for squash borer? The area is very sunny has some wood-chip mulch, clover and crabgrass.
Olivia – Here is a good article from UMN Ext. You can use the Guardian/Lawn Patrol nematodes for the spring stage of the adults in cocoons in the ground. After that, you are stuck with using products like Dipel to treat the adults. As long as you keep the ground moist, the nematodes should be fine.
Thanks for your reply. When would be the best time for me to apply the nematodes? Should I wait till later in the summer and/or early fall?
Well, since it looks like you probably missed them for this year, I would think a fall application would be good to try to get them trying to over-winter. Then an early fall application as well to get any that survived and go into cocoons.
Hope this helps.
do your nematodes do anything to control cicada wasps in their larvae stage or before they re emerge each spring
David, I’m assuming you are talking about Sphecius speciosus, often simply referred to as the cicada killer wasp. Learning about them, they are considered a beneficial insect and I’m not sure why you want to be rid of them. They look scary but only the females have stingers but are not aggressive with them. I found a book called Texas Bug Book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
(By Howard Garrett, C. Malcolm Beck) that has them on page 43 listed as a beneficial insect. However, I found they like to dig nests / burrows in well-drained, sandy soils to loose clay in bare or grass-covered banks, berms and hills as well as next to raised sidewalks, driveways and patio slabs (Wikipedia). So, the issue becomes can you keep them moist and can you get them to the nests that the adults close up after laying the egg on the cicada host? If you can do these things, I would think the nematodes would possibly work on the them since they come out of the egg into a larval form. They seem non-aggressive toward humans and pets so I’m not sure why you need to get rid of them but, I would think they should be a good target for nematodes. I hope this helps.
I’m having a terrible time with fleas this year. Is there a best time of the year to apply nematodes or is it too late in the season (September)?
Cory, We tell you to apply Spring & Fall at a minimum. What you are after are soil temps between 55F – 85F so you want to do it at dusk or dawn. It is best to apply the nematodes during the evening or during periods of cloudy, cool weather. If you think of these nematodes as microscopic earthworms, you will realize that they must be allowed time to enter the growing media before they dry out. You would not release earthworms on hot, dry ground and expect them to survive. Attempting to apply the nematodes during periods of hot, dry weather may prevent many of them from surviving the transfer into your growing media. “Watering in” with additional water will help insure they have been carried into your growing media. When targeting fleas, you need to find where they are coming from. You can’t apply Guardian/Lawn Patrol directly to pets or carpet so you need to find the source. If you cover the areas around your yard with a good dose, you can start the process of getting rid of the fleas. Hopefully the winter will help you out and you can re-apply in the Spring when you soil temps are back up in range (after final freeze). For more information about our nematodes, check out the Tode Paper.
Do nematodes work on root aphids??
Beneficial nematodes have to enter a host insect either through a natural opening, such as their mouth, anus, breathing spiracles or soft tissue. The feeding habit of aphids is to bury their mouthparts into a feeding site and not move from the site. Their two tail pipes aim upwards because they are usually located on the lower side of the plant surface and the honeydew excrement would drop away from their feeding site. They have long legs that lift their body off the plant surface. So it is difficult for beneficial nematodes to find an entry point into the aphids. If they do find an entry point, they will kill the aphid but the basic answer is no they won’t work as a control for root aphids.
Other aphid predators and parasites (ladybugs, lacewings or aphidius) usually live above ground and don’t venture into the root zone of the plants. Therefore, it may be necessary to use a insect parasitic fungus such as Botanigard or Mycotrol WPO for control. – Mike Morton
I have been using vinegar as a natural weed killer. I am careful to apply it by rubbing the weed leaves with a latex gloved hand that was dipped in vinegar. I’m trying to minimize changing the PH levels of the soils. Will I be able to use Guaridan/Lawn Patrol nemotodes?
It shouldn’t be an issue. About the only thing you need to worry about would be any product specifically listed with a nematicide in it. A nematicide is a type of chemical pesticide used to kill plant-parasitic nematodes but they can also harm our beneficial nematodes as well. So, as long as you are NOT using something with this product in it, you should be just fine.
I live in GA where chiggers are alive and thriving. My husband and I get bites every day. I get bitten just walking to my car! If you’re not familiar with chigger bites, the chigger lays an egg, and injects a fluid into the skin. It creates a large red welt. The itching is terrible and lasts at least two weeks. Please tell me you have a product that will get rid of these insects.
Judy, Please refer to the FAQ page for this specific answer – Click Here. Here is what it says: “They do not work for chiggers. Chiggers spend their life above ground. Nematodes only work on things that spend part or all of their lifecycle in the ground. You can try Botanigard or other spray. You might just try Orkin or someone like that and see what they say.” Sorry.
I just released a nematode solution last night for my house plants, to rid them of Fungus Gnats. These pests have been persistent against other remedies, but I hear this is the best way, pretty much guaranteed to get rid of them.
I didn’t have too many plants to apply the solution to though, so I ended up putting more than the recommended amount in each of the plants I have, thinking that this may even be more helpful. Am I correct in this assumption, or did I just jeopardize my plants or the effectiveness of the nematodes?
Will, you are correct, you can’t “over do it” with nematodes. They will never become a pest to your plants. It does take a little time for the nematodes to get control on the gnats but, by increasing the nematodes per square inch, you should probably get faster control.
I have been using nematodes since the late 60’s and they really do an awesome job. Re-located this year to Dallas area and my cats and dog immediately got fleas, never had them in their lives. Cats are 15 yrs old and dog 12. Immediately order nematode and saturated area in spring and again fallof 16. No more fleas or ticks. Going back to Indiana where the winter actually kills some of the insects. Just deer ticks to contend with. Beneficial nematode advocate. Master Gardner
Hi! I live in Queens, NY and while turning my dirt for my veggie garden I picked out about 50 grubs! I have 2 questions:
1) how soon can I plant my veggies after I put the nematodes in the ground?
2) will they work for this years garden or does it take time (meaning I would need to keep picking the grubs for the summer)?
June, There is NO delay in the time you put the nematodes in until you can plant. Once you get them in, they will do just fine. As far as when to use them, listed above in the information you will see this – “If our Nematodes can enter a host insect, they will kill the insect within 24 – 48 hours, then reproduce within the insect, thus providing long-term control.” This tells you that its not too late to start getting control now. It doesn’t take long and they will continue to spread out to get more.
Hi there. Some of my yard is covered with river rocks and a thin weed barrier. Would the Nematodes work their way through the weed barrier if watered thoroughly?
Brian, assuming the weed barrier is porous enough to let water through, the nematodes will also go through. We would suggest that you apply during the cool of the evening (dusk) and generously water them in. By doing it at night, it gives them around 12 hours to make their way through before the temperatures come back up. You should be good to go.
Do nematodes control aphids?
Gloria, our nematodes will control most things in the soil. If the aphids are in the soil (root aphids) they will work on them (only if you are in soil/media). If they are not in the soil (most other aphids live in the plant canopy), they will not work on them. You could use Aphidius, Lacewing Eggs or other Aphid Controls.
It wasn’t clear to me how long you can store these. Would they be okay for a week in a freezer (below 40 deg)? I travel for work, sometimes unexpectedly, so I’m not sure that I can get them right into the ground when they arrive.
Ogeden – The answer is they can be temporarily stored in a refrigerator at 40o-50oF. By “temporarily” we mean a few days (no more than 1 week) but you have to check them every couple of days to make sure they don’t dry out. You CAN NOT put a large amount of water in the sponge for long term storage because the nematodes will drown (no standing water in the bag). It is ALWAYS suggested that you put them out as quickly as you can and don’t try to store them for more than a couple days. If you are going to be traveling for a week, I would try not to get them right before you leave or have someone else plan to apply them or store them for you.
Hi, I live in Massachusetts and need a nematode to attack thrips and rose midge. Is one available for these insects? I also would like something for Japanese beetles and various ticks.
Thank you for any info.
Sharon, please refer to the FAQ page for information about the ticks
Are nematodes effective on ticks or chiggers?
The other items, shouldn’t be a problem. The product we send out is a mixture of several different strains so each one is effective against a lot of things. See the post from Bill on March 4, 2016 above. You can see a list of what they go after if you read the chart above and read the nematode paper (Linked in several places above). Rose midge, also known as Dasineura rhodophaga, put their pupae in the soil so that is where the nematodes can get to them.
You should be good to use the Guardian Lawn Patrol.
what about earthworms? I was going to start a worm farm, If the nematodes can’t find the right insect to feed on will they turn to the earthworms.
Tracie, the nematodes are too closely related to earthworms. They will NOT harm them, they will work together in your soil.
What mix would work for raspberry crown borer?
Kin, Guardian/Lawn Patrol would be your best bet. Some trials of soil drenches using insect-pathogenic nematodes, Heterohabditis bacteriophoba or Hb nematodes, as biological control agents have been successful against crown borers. The Lawn Patrol strain is the Hb.
We live in the high desert of Colorado, with an average yearly precipitation of about 8 inches. We have a sprinkler system for the lawn, and drip for the flower beds, but of course the soil dries out between waterings, and during the winter. It does appear we have some grub damage in the lawn (we just planted the lawn last summer). I see that nematodes need wet soil. I would prefer to not use a chemical insecticide, but is there something else that would be better suited to our climate than the nematodes? I would like to use them, but if they are likely to all die out before they can do the job, it would be smarter/cheaper to find a different solution. Thanks for your help. I have already learned a lot just from reading on your website.
Arlene, the best way to answer this would be to say that if the grass and flowers can survive, the nematodes should also survive. As long as there is enough moisture for those things, you should be good to go. Also, if the grubs are surviving, the nematodes should be sharing the same space and should also have good enough conditions to survive. Good Luck
I was using the sprayer to spray the guardian nematodes and the sprayer malfunctioned and sprayed in my mouth. Am I going to be infected with this parasite? Ugh
Maryann, don’t worry, you will not be in any danger. Nematodes can’t survive in our bodies, we are too warm for long term exposure for them. You are in no risk at all.
We live on a lake in the Texas Hill Country and every evening from April through October we consistently experience non-biting midges covering our windows and screens (they are attracted to light). It’s difficult to open a door since they will rapidly enter your house, or sit outside since they invade your beverage container. They only live 24 hours but they just keep coming. Is there a nematode that can help prevent midges?
Sorry for your problem with these little buggers. The biggest issue with them is that they usually lay eggs on the water surface. This really limits the “good guys” you can use. Here is a very good article by NC State: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/biology-and-control-of-non-biting-aquatic-midges. Other companies have suggested using things like Mosquito Dunks or yellow sticky traps. Some have also suggested nematodes like Guardian/Gnat Patrol but, it’s just an issue of them getting to the larvae stage and getting control. So, I would probably suggest you contact someone to spray for mosquitoes or perhaps change to LED lights outside. Sorry we couldn’t help you further. Good Luck
How are your nematodes against root maggots that eat turnip and rutabaga roots?
Becky, One of the articles I found online about root maggots stated this “Root Maggots and Control – The most common method for root maggot treatment is biological/organic control. Common organic cures for root maggot include spreading diatomaceous earth around the plants while they are seedlings, floating row covers over seedlings, and using natural predators of root maggots such as Heterorhabditidae or Steinernematidae nematodes and rove beetles to kill the root maggots. Root maggot organic control is most commonly used due to the fact that these pests feed on plants that will be eaten by people.” Our Guardian Nematodes are comprised of several strains of Steinernema spp and our Lawn Patrol is Heterorhabditis spp. This sounds like something they were designed to go after. You should have very good luck using them for this problem.