No, not all parasites we find in nature are harmful to our plants or us, and some are realllyy beneficial when used smartly.
When someone says parasites, I hear ‘harmful,’ ‘disease’, ‘unhealthy’. But when they say ‘Nematodes’, I hear ‘a healthy garden.’
Yes!! Because that’s what the nematodes can do for us. Entomopathogenic nematodes, also known as beneficial nematodes, include colourless roundworms from the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae. They can help us build a healthy green garden by fighting the real enemies of our plants like beetles, caterpillars, cutworms, crown borers, corn rootworms, crane flies, fungus gnats, grubs, and thrips, etc.
What are Nematodes?
Nematodes are small, microscopic worm-shaped parasites that enter the plant’s body, destroying organisms and killing them. Some species of nematodes attack their host from the outside body surface, thus infecting them and feeding on their body, while others burrow into the tissue and inject deadly bacteria, thus parasitize the host and then feed on it.
Are these little guys safe for us?
Now you might be thinking, ‘if these are harmful to grubs, fungus, ants, and other organisms we want to get rid of aren’t these capable of harming our plants and us?’
Not all, but some can! There are species of nematodes that are not so friendly in nature and can harm us. That’s why we, at ‘The Environmental Factor Inc.’, research and develop the products using the beneficial nematodes. And the best part is, these products are plant and pet-friendly.
Besides acting as our ‘knights in shining armour’, these beneficial nematodes, especially the soil dwellers, break down the organic matter and help in preparing compost.
So, the next time you hear the word Nematodes or Parasite, make sure it’s the harmful one before freaking out!