Watch the video that shows a grower (Michael’s Greenhouse in Cheshire CT ) http://www.michaelsgreenhouses.com/ applying the insect killing beneficial nematodes are applied thru their automatic watering system onto their hanging baskets on a cloudy day.
The nematodes are in the bucket you see and then they use the fertilizer injector (with the screens removed) to apply the nematodes. This is commonly done on the bench or floor crops, but I think they are one of the few growers with a specially designed watering boom for their hanging baskets to apply the nematodes this way to the hanging baskets.
Nematodes are small, colorless, cylindrical round worms that occur naturally in soils throughout the world. Different species work best against different insect pests. Steinernema feltiae is primarily used against fungus gnat larvae and thrips pupae dwelling in the soil media. Fungus gnat larvae may be parasitized in any larval stage. Nematodes have traditionally been used against soil dwelling pests because they are sensitive to ultra violet light and desiccation.
The beneficial nematodes enter the insect host through body openings. These insect killing nematodes multiply within the host and release a symbiotic bacterium (Xenorhabdus spp.) whose toxin kills the target pest, i.e. fungus gnats. The fungus gnat larvae are killed in one to two days by blood poisoning. More than one generation of nematodes may develop in dead host insect in the growing media. The infective juveniles then exit the dead body and search for new hosts to infect.
More information can be found at: http://ipm.uconn.edu/documents/raw2/B…
Video: Leanne Pundt, UConn Extension