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A powerful trio against fungus gnat larvae

A powerful trio against fungus gnat larvae

Almost every area of horticulture is familiar with fungus gnats and their larvae. Especially seedling producers are afraid of them. Fungus gnat larvae are not choosy for roots, whether poinsettia, bedding and balcony plants, herbs, vegetables, hardwood cutting or herbaceous perennials, their diet includes all those roots. Chemical crop protection can hardly provide any possibilities for action. Therefore, it is great that biological plant protection can offer good alternatives to cultural and biological techniques (such as yellow catchboards for monitoring or drought stress).

The powerful trio consists of the nematodes Steinernema feltiae, the predatory mite Hypoaspis miles and a BTI. Steinernema feltiae are threadworms that are being poured into the plants. They are either contained in clay granules and then dissolved in water or they are poured as ice nematodes. Hypoaspis miles lives on the soil and, besides fungus gnats larvae, also eats thrips and springtails.

They are being scattered onto the plant substrate in the carrier material, a mixture of vermiculite and soil. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) is being poured. The methods described are used preventively in the first week after seeding, pricking, plugging or planting and should be, according to the requirements of the plant culture, pursued continuously.

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