How to Use Nematodes for Slugs

How to Use Nematodes for Slugs

If you are a beginner or expert at gardening, you know the damage which comes with slugs. You can tell that you have a slug infestation in your garden as the leaves and flowers have holes in them. Not only do slugs affect the yield, but they are also carriers of dangerous parasites like the lungworm. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to get rid of these pests from your garden as soon as you can. 

You can use nematodes by applying them on wet soil with water. 

For nematodes to be effective, you must apply them on wet soil rather than lawns. Nematodes require moist soil to move. Hence, if you find that your soil is not wet enough, you must water it down. Wherever you purchase your nematodes form, you must follow the package’s instructions to get the ratio correct. In addition, you must also keep the soil wet for a few weeks after you have applied nematodes so they stay alive.

How Long Do Nematodes Take to Kill Slugs?

Nematodes are roundworms that are found in the soil. These worms can be used to kill slugs, and many gardeners have been happy with the results. Nematodes work to release the bacteria inside their gut which kills slugs and other insects within 24 to 48 hours. The nematodes will slugs and snails in four to twenty-one days.

The nematodes take over the body of the pest by entering through its mouth, anus, and other openings. After the nematodes have entered, they release the bacteria. The bacteria are released, which then multiplies and poisons the blood, leading to death. The tissue of the pest is turned into nutrition for the nematodes to feed on. After consumption and leaving no food source behind, the nematodes exit the body and look for a new host. 

How Much Water Do You Mix with Nematodes?

When you purchase nematodes, it is helpful to look at and follow the instruction of the package you have. However, there are some measurements, which you can take if you still are not sure about the water to nematodes ratio. 

Many people recommend mixing one gallon of water and a teaspoon of nematodes. However, the mix rate depends on factors such as the pressure of water and how fast or slow you apply. After you have applied after care is also important to keep them alive and well. Therefore, you must keep your soil moist in the weeks to come so nematodes can move. 

In addition, you need to stay alert as nematodes are sensitive to light and can die under direct light. Therefore, you can apply nematodes in the evening or when it is a cloudy day. When applying nematodes, you must ensure that you do not spray on edible plants.

Usually, nematodes are safe for humans, but people with weak immune systems should avoid contact. After applying nematodes, you must wash your hands properly. In addition, keep the spray away from children and any pets you have. 

Do Nematodes Kill Slugs and Snails?

Nematodes are roundworms found in soil all around the world. These worms are known as beneficial worms and are used to kill slugs and snails. The worms enter the bodies of slugs and snails through openings and take them over. The bacteria which nematodes release poison these pests and decompose them from the inside. 

Snails and slugs are both dangerous to gardens as they destroy plants. Therefore, if you have any of these pests, you can use nematodes to kill them, provided you apply them to the soil and keep them away from edible plants. 

What Are Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Nematodes?

Using nematodes is quite effective against slugs and a great option if you maintain an organic garden. Many people’s first resort at handling their slug problem can be to use chemicals and slug pellets. However, using chemicals time and again can be harmful to your garden. In addition, slug pellets can kill slugs, but they harm the environment and affect the lives of other wildlife. Therefore, a natural approach to dealing with slugs would be better. 

However, using nematodes can be frustrating if you are looking for a quick way to get rid of slugs. Nematodes do not work as quickly as chemicals and can take a few weeks before slugs die. Hence, if you have a big slug infestation, it will not die down quickly or may never do using nematodes. 

In addition, you need to be careful when applying nematodes to your garden as they do not survive under heat, cold, and light. These are highly sensitive worms and can die, leaving the entire process as it is. 

Using nematodes just one time is not enough as they do not settle in the garden. Hence, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option to get rid of slugs, nematodes are not the right fit for you. These roundworms are expensive, especially if you use them more than once. Some other options you can use are getting copper wiring, planting eggshells in your garden, and sprinkling coffee grounds on the soil. In addition, while nematodes are effective in killing slugs, they do not affect the Spanish slug. 


A major problem which many gardeners have to deal with is slug infestations. Slugs are slimy little pests that come out during the nighttime and cause damage to plants and gardens. Therefore, it is important to get rid of them. A natural way to get rid of slugs is to use nematodes, which are beneficial roundworms. You can use nematodes by using the right ratio is water, and they can kill slugs in four to twenty-one days. 

Using nematodes is great because you are not harming the environment with chemicals. In addition, these are perfect for people with organic gardens. However, nematodes can take weeks to take effect and do not work well against bug infestations. Nematodes do not settle in gardens, and using them regularly is quite expensive. 

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