A nematode air raid on caterpillars

A nematode air raid on caterpillars

Looking for efficient solutions to control caterpillars and other foliar pests?

Entomopathogenic nematodes are mainly known for the control of pests in the soil such as thrips pupae, and larvae of sciarid flies, vine weevils and several beetles. Research and recent experience however show that nematodes are also very effective on foliage-feeding pests, like caterpillars. A fact that offers many new opportunities for growers to control these pests, where chemicals fail or are simply not available anymore.

Our nematode products can be used in conventional, organic or zero residue growing methods in a wide range of crops; fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.

5 reasons to start using nematodes

- Effective control of many caterpillars and other foliar-feeding pests
- Pests cannot develop resistance against nematodes
- Less or no chemical pesticides needed
- Nematodes leave no harmful residue on the crop
- Nematodes are safe to use

Effective against many foliage-feeding pests

Nematodes can be used to control many different pests, including Tuta absoluta, Chrysodeixis chalcites, Duponchelia fovealis, Spodoptera sp., Thaumetopoea processionea, and Nesidiocoris tenuis. For a complete overview, download the brochure.


How Koppert nematodes control foliar pests


Thorough and extensive research shows effectiveness

R&D departments at several Koppert locations have been researching foliar applications of our nematodes for years, with a recent emphasis on some key pests. Watch the video in which senior researcher Dr. Magda Galeano (Koppert Spain) explains the steps taken. Laboratory and field trials show that Entonem and Capsanem are significantly effective against a variety of leaf insects, especially caterpillars which are one of the largest foliar pest groups. It also shows that while nematodes move most efficiently in a liquid layer, a dry leaf surface does not stop the nematodes. Depending on climatic conditions, nematodes survive on the leaf surface for many to several days.


Check out the experiences of fellow growers


Points of attention for spraying nematodes

To ensure the best results, we recommend to use the nematodes when:

  • 1. Relative humidity is high (>75%) continuously for several hours post treatment;
  • 2. Temperature is ideally within optimal range of 13°C – 30°C (55-86°F);
  • 3. Solar radiation is low.

To meet all three conditions, usually evenings or early mornings are recommended timings for application. Greenhouses provide a more favourable situation for such applications, but several pests are also being tackled in open field crops when environmental conditions can be met. An adjuvant is recommended and sometimes extra additives or irrigation can also help (ask your local consultant).

Nematodes and chemicals

Nematodes are quite insensitive to many types of pesticides and can thus be sprayed easily after a pesticide treatment or even sometimes tank-mixed. For a complete list of side effects, check the Koppert Side Effect List or download the app. In General, tank mix with foliar fertilizers must be avoided.


You can find everything you need to know about nematodes here. On this page you find listed questions and answers about nematodes in general, their application, formulation and packaging, handling and storage, and regulatory issues.

More than 30 years of Experience

Koppert started producing nematodes in 1986. Many years of experience have gone into the selection, breeding, formulation, and quality control of these nematodes. Each of the entomopathogenic nematodes bred by Koppert has been selected to target specific pest insects. Koppert produces specific strains of Steinernema feltiae, Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (and other species/strains are being researched).