Is it safe to use nematodes for a white grub infestation?


I have a white grub infestation in one of my perennial gardens. Am I safe to use nematodes without damaging my plants or harming bees? Everything I read supports the use of these beneficial organisms and that they are safe to both plants and animals and as long as I do not spray on my flowers, the bees should be fine. Also can I purchase the locally?


Jonathan Foster, Special Project Assistant 

For management of white grub infestations, please refer to this State of Maine fact sheet, as well as our UMaine Cooperative Extension page on the pests. If you have positively identified your grubs, you can learn all about the use of beneficial nematodes in this State of Maine resource (in short, they attack soil-borne insects and leave plants alone). I don’t know if your local retailers sell the nematodes, but if a call to your local nursery doesn’t yield positive results, the product can easily be purchased online. Once you have a handle on things, please check out our UMaine Extension page on lawns for best practices on renewing and managing your turfgrass moving forward.