Termite Interceptors

Basic Nematode Biology
The fascinating world of roundworms

by Jerry Cates

Nematodes, also known as roundworms, receive their name from the Greek word nema, meaning "thread".  Many of them, when examined by the naked eye or under the microscope, look like living segments of sewing thread.  More than 15,000 species have been described, and many more await man's discovery. 

Nematologists estimate that more than half a million species of roundworms will eventually be identified.  Hundreds of new species are reported by researchers every year, even though only a paltry number of scientists are engaged in nematology research. The relative lack of interest in this diverse group of organisms is unfortunate, considering that, in terms of diversity, they appear to be second only to the insects.  Once we get to know them better, we will probably wish we'd studied them them in depth much earlier.  It seems likely that they are much more involved in our lives, and in the lives of the rest of the organisms that flourish on earth, than we think.

Entomopathogenic nematodes are lethal to a number of important pests that forage in the soil, yet they pose no hazards to plants or mammals.  Unlike applications of chemicals and most single-celled beneficial biologicals, applicators apply nematodes without having to use personal protection equipment such as masks, gloves, or protective garb.  Issues attending ordinary pesticide use, such as re-entry time, residues, risks of groundwater contamination, or injury to non-target organisms, are nonexistent.  Furthermore, while other biologicals such as Metarhizium anisopliae or Bacillus thuringiensis require days or weeks to kill target pests, nematodes kill their infected hosts within 24-48 hours.

Questions:  512-331-1111 E-Mail: jerry.cates@entomobiotics.com Our Privacy Policy  Bugsinthenews