Category: News
Date published: April 05, 2023

Beneficial nematodes; the natural move towards biological crop protection

Meet Casea!

Beneficial nematodes are increasingly being used to control pests in an extensive range of crops. Our product Casea contains the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. The product controls various insect pests in stone fruits, soft fruits such as cranberries and strawberries, potatoes, and outdoor vegetables such as cabbage, baby leaves, and lettuce. Click here for a full overview of the targeted pests.

For growers, one of the main incentives to use nematode products is the diminishing role and performance of chemical crop protection products. Either they have been removed by international and local authorities, or pests have become resistant to them. In addition, the list of prohibited pesticides is growing.

Special characteristics

The beneficial nematodes in our product Casea have some special characteristics. The nematodes are very flexible regarding temperature windows, tolerating both cold and hot temperatures, with a special adaptation for heat and drought resistance since they can be applied up to 34°C. Therefore, they are the best candidates for summer use, for instance.

In addition, the Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes use an ambushing tactic to combat the pests they target. Ambushing nematodes lie in a soil layer or a leaf and wait for a pest insect to pass by. When the prey passes by, the nematodes curl up and propel themselves onto the passing host.

Easy to use

Beneficial nematodes offer a broad-spectrum biocontrol solution. Casea is sprayed on crops using commonly used spraying or irrigation systems in the same way that conventional pesticides are introduced, making them easy to use. This way, they can replace conventional pesticides in many crops and play a complementary role in an IPM strategy. Moreover, they can often be tank-mixed with conventional products, making applications more cost-effective for growers (less tractor use, less energy, and time taken up).

Recently available

Responding to the growing demand for this effective biocontrol solution, Koppert recently introduced the beneficial nematode products Capirel and Casea in AGRI-ready large formats. These new products provide two fast-acting biological solutions for the control of a broad range of pests.