entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora

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Jonathan D. Eisenback, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org
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You’ve probably heard that “nematodes” are small microscopic roundworms that eliminate some garden and turf pests, like beetle grubs and caterpillars, when applied using appropriate measures. However, that’s just about where your knowledge ends. 

If you’re looking to use beneficial nematodes to control a nasty infestation, try digesting an in-depth article: Beneficial Nematodes for Grubs Control

But, if you’re merely scouting a few quick facts about beneficial nematodes, and in the process, learn a few lessons in disguise, keep reading.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to our disclaimer

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10 Facts About Beneficial Nematodes

The habits and behaviors of beneficial nematodes might seem inconsequential, but their entire existence is rife with intrigue and wonderment.

How can something that seems so unimportant and basic teach you, an intelligent life force about life? 

Well, you’re about to be schooled. Here are 10 facts about beneficial nematodes that may well be the kick you need to make adjustments in your life. 

1. Beneficial Nematodes are Go-Getters

Nematodes work for their catch. Once released in the soil, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora – a species of beneficial nematodes – cruise throughout the dirt to locate their next host. They’re too busy hunting their next meal to stick their noses into what their fellow nematodes do.

Do you dawdle about your affairs, or do you get up and work hard for what you want? Are you so engaged in the affairs of others that you forget to tend to your business? 

Take a lesson from this species of beneficial nematodes. They aren’t lazy, and since they rely on their host for reproduction, they wiggle their hides throughout the soil as if their lives depended on it. Industriousness is a sought-after quality, pursue it by all means. 

Be like beneficial nematodes; be a go-getter and work hard, instead of meddling and sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong. 

2. Beneficial Nematodes are Resilient 

Nematodes need the right soil conditions to thrive or at least serve their purpose. However, if the soil gets too hot, dry, or cold, that doesn’t prevent them from actualizing their purpose. Even under the most difficult and unfavorable soil conditions, nematodes are able to spring back. 

This is because they undergo a process called cryptobiosis. This is where their activities come to a reversible standstill until there’s a glimpse of hope. Once conditions change from unfavorable to favorable, they bounce right back up and get to work.  

Do you allow challenges in life to hold you back? Do you plunge into despair after an initial attempt at a challenging task fails? Do you struggle to move from point A to point B?

Considering how beneficial nematodes suspend their life cycle, should be of interest to you.

Regardless of how difficult things might seem at present, there’s always hope once the breath of life lingers in your body. Mope if you must should things hit the fan, but always get up, dress your wounds, and keep pushing through. 

Be like beneficial nematodes; be resilient and bounce back, ready to tackle any challenge thrown your way.  

3. Beneficial Nematodes are Intentional 

Beneficial nematodes know their purpose. Immediately after being released, they get to work and scout out for their host. Once contact is made, they latch themselves onto said host, and don’t leave until its purpose is realized. They infect their hosts with a parasitic bacterium that converts it into food, and nematodes begin reproducing. After overcrowding occurs, they burst forth and move on to a new host in thousands. 

What’s your purpose in life? Are you blindly living or going with the flow of things, without due guidance or a strategy?

Are your steps intentional? Do you jump at every opportunity that comes your way, or do you sit back and consider the costs and consequences involved in assuming an opportunity? Are you living aimlessly, striking the air without meaning? 

Be like beneficial nematodes; find your purpose and be intentional. You only begin to live once you do.

4. Beneficial Nematodes are Infective 

When beneficial nematodes are secured for garden or turf use, they’re received in an infective stage. This is seen as the juvenile stage of their life cycle; they undergo at least 4 juvenile stages. This infective stage allows beneficial nematodes to infect their hosts with a bacterium, which later breaks down the host’s body into the very substance that’ll serve as food. 

Are you infective? You’re not being encouraged to transform into a parasite that spreads a deadly bacterium – no. But, are you making an impact on the people you meet? Are you infecting them with your beautiful qualities? Are you leaving them with the right impressions, so they’re moved to provide assistance when you need it most?  

Be like beneficial nematodes; infect people with positivity.

5. Beneficial Nematodes are Thorough 

Beneficial nematodes leave no stone unturned. Once their host is infected with a toxic bacterium, nematodes commence their natural reproductive cycle. These biological weapons can be produced in the thousands. They naturally use up tissue broken down by the bacterium, and when they become too many, they burst forth, and infective juveniles begin their hunt for a new host. 

Are you thorough in what you do, or half-hearted? Being thorough can be applied in so many areas of your life, including how you expend resources, tackle responsibilities, and interact with people. Being thorough also means communicating well to prevent misunderstandings and cultivate better friendships. You give everything your best, not mediocrity. 

Be like beneficial nematodes; be thorough and give everything you do your best. 

6. Beneficial Nematodes are Safe 

While some nematodes are human parasites, beneficial nematodes aren’t. Arthropods are targeted hosts of beneficial nematodes, and as such, are safe to use around children, plants, and pests. In fact, beneficial nematodes can be legally applied for pest control on crops without restrictions. 

Do others feel safe around you? Do you create an environment in which people don’t need to watch over their shoulders because they know you have their backs? If people can’t trust you, you’re living a dangerous life. 

Be like beneficial nematodes; be safe and trustworthy for others to linger around.

7. Beneficial Nematodes are Versatile 

Beneficial nematodes are flexible in how they can be used. When applied to garden and turf, they can be mixed with insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and others, while maintaining their effectiveness.

Are you able to adapt to changing circumstances without losing stride? Do you stick to a single way of doing things when it can be accomplished using a variety of methods? Are you known for throwing out diversity by preventing others from pitching in to help? Diversity is the spice of life. Without it, there’s no creativity; the world would be a trite place to live in.

Be like beneficial nematodes; be versatile and diverse. 

8. Beneficial Nematodes are Generous

How do you feel when generosity is extended your way? No doubt, others can benefit from the same warmth you experience when you practice giving. Beneficial nematodes provide a bit of schooling in this area. 

Beneficial nematodes contribute to nutrient cycling. Once nematodes eat and digest their host, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are released into the soil. Since nematode hosts contain more than enough nutrients needed, any surplus is given to the soil. How generous these microorganisms are! 

In fact, it doesn’t stop there. Some beneficial nematodes are known for breaking down various organic matters on a physical level to make sure it’s easier for other organisms to make use of. This encourages recycling of nutrients and carbon in the soil. 

Since beneficial nematodes, although small, give in such a large way, shouldn’t you adjust your affairs to show kindness to fellow humans?  

Be like beneficial nematodes; be kind and generous, not tight-fisted. 

9. Beneficial Nematodes are Self-Sustaining 

Beneficial nematodes don’t need much to survive. Once applied on moist soil, without much UV exposure, beneficial nematodes are more inclined to thrive. 

Are you making every effort to work hard to care for your basic needs, without relying on others? It’s great having a few friends to call on when things get sour, but the reality is, people won’t always feel obliged to come to your rescue – and they shouldn’t be. Work hard for what you want. Do not be a leech. 

Be like beneficial nematodes; be self-sustaining. 

10. Beneficial Nematodes Have a Wide Scope of Operation 

Not only are beneficial nematodes effective because they’re environmentally and people friendly, but they prey on various insects; their scope of operation is vast. Some nematodes are effective against grubs, thrips, borers, beetles, and others. 

Are you confined to the realm in which you live or are you known for trying various things to impact others. Knowledge is beautiful, and unless you’re absorbing the right information and using it to make a positive impact, you’re missing the mark and restricting your scope of operation. Learn to do various things and your life will not only be more enjoyable, but fulfilling. 

 

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