are beneficial nematodes a good idea?

Asked July 7, 2020, 4:18 PM EDT

Hi there, I’m not sure if this is where I should send this question, apologies if it isn’t. I recently got a puppy, and so I’ve spent a lot more time out in my yard. A tick bit me and, after I was done freaking out, I started googling ways to rid my lawn of them. One option I saw was to put beneficial nematodes into the grass, and that’s what I’d like to do. I just wanted to make sure that there aren’t going to be any negative effects on our ecology if I do this. I certainly don’t want to introduce a harmful or invasive species! Thank you for your time, and please stay safe!

Boone County Kentucky

5 Responses

I would like to have more information on the beneficial nematodes. Nematodes can be specific as to what they will parasitize. Please call me with the source of the nematodes and more specific info. I haven't heard of nematodes being used for tick control. 859-586-6101

Hey, looks like I just missed your office hours. Here’s a link to the nematodes I’m looking to buy:
The species of nematodes in this product are:

Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
Steinernema carpocapsae
Steinernema feltiae

According to the product information, Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora controls ticks.

Our lawn also has gnats of some kind in it, though, so even if it doesn’t do much for ticks, I’m still interested in this product, or beneficial nematodes in general, as long as it poses no threat to ecology.

I.m sorry this has taken so long. I referred your question to UK Entomologist Jonathan Larson. Jonathan also asked others in the Department for help. The consensus is that the nematodes could be a viable option. These nematodes will attack grubs as well.
For tick control they will decrease oviposition but the nematodes will die out and not return next year. You will have to reapply next year. Thanks for the question. we all learned something.

Thanks so much!!!