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Kurt Becker

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Dramm Staff
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We often are asked about applying nematodes for fungus gnat, shore-fly or thrip control through our PCAS drippers.

In general, we don't feel this is the best way to apply them. 

We posed the question to Jen Browning of BASF, a producer of nematodes, for her opinion.

Drip is no problem, but the issue is that drip systems may create a little island of moisture in the container/pot/media and that island will be as far as the nematodes can move. If there are fungus gnat larvae, for example, elsewhere in the media, the nematodes make less contact with them than they would in a drench application. Ring emitters can help with this, but for most growers, a wetter application method for the nematodes will work better. There’s still activity with drip apps, but not as much. I can’t quantify it unfortunately, and if they want to tinker with it, their threshold would be their guide. Note that fungus gnats will typically oviposit where the media is a bit moister anyway, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag on how much it might affect efficacy.

If you do plan to still use this method, it is important to note that our drip systems require 150 mesh filtration to prevent clogging. 

Nematodes, on the other hand, require filters finer than 50 mesh to be removed to prevent them filtering the nematodes out of the solution.

For such an application, you will need to remove the filter cartridge during the application. After application, replace the filter and flush the lines with plain water.
Kurt Becker
Dramm Corporation
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