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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:35 am 
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I have made one application of beneficial nematodes (approx 1 week ago); I will make the second application this evening. How many applications do I need to make to get the flea problem under control?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 10:23 pm 
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Well, it depends. If the product you're using has good viability and a high proportion of hungry juveniles and if you apply them properly (at dusk, water them in, spread them fairly evenly), and if your soil conditons are not terrible, you should begin to get larval control within 2 days. What type of soil do you have? The nematodes will not help with fleas that are in the adult or pupal stages, which will include any adults that foreign animals drop in on your yard. If you have failry decent soil in an organic program and if the worms you're using are good quality, I don't think you should have to apply them very often. There are some variables, so sample the yard with white socks occasionally and see how the flea concentration looks.

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In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren't -- lament of the synthetic lifestyle.


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 Post subject: Nematodes
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 12:16 am 
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Location: Dallas,TX
Adding a molasses application to the soil will help keep the microbes busy and the soil from compacting. I learned the hard way that nematodes just can't get around too well in compacted soil that dries out quickly. And I know better but it just didnt' occur to me what the problem was until I realized my dogs were pounding the clay ground into primitive pottery! Molasses and mulch fixed it and the nematodes worked.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 6:01 pm 
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Thank you both for your responses. The soil is heavy black clay and I have been using the organic program for approx 10 yrs. When I walk thru the yard with white socks, especially where the dogs park themselves during the day, I get nothing on the socks. This seems to indicate no heavy flea concentraton. With three 50# plus dogs, you can imagine the compactness of the soil. I hadn't thought of adding the molasses, though. I'll give that at try next; it can only do good things.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:39 am 
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dwainm wrote:
The soil is heavy black clay and I have been using the organic program for approx 10 yrs. When I walk thru the yard with white socks, especially where the dogs park themselves during the day, I get nothing on the socks. This seems to indicate no heavy flea concentraton. With three 50# plus dogs, you can imagine the compactness of the soil. I hadn't thought of adding the molasses, though.


If you can do it, I think it would be a good idea to aerate. (If you've been organic that long, maybe you have been aerating.) The current belief on beneficial nematodes seems to be that they migrate less/are less active in compact soil. If aeration is necessary before you mulch and if mechanical aeration is impractical, you could try the bio soil treatments (like Medina?) in conjunction with the molasses. If the soil conditions are okay and not too dry, you really shouldn't need another nematode application; if the soil conditions are detrimental, another nematode application probably won't do much good. If you can, keep the soil moist enough to support plant growth, address the compaction, and monitor the flea population for new hatches (a flea comb can be a good tool for monitoring the population on the dogs). Of course, if the dogs come inside, then you have the indoor flea cycle to deal with. Finally, if the dogs had fleas, watch for tapeworms as a not unusual side effect. It probably wouldn't hurt to feed some food grade diatomaceous earth, if you aren't already or if it isn't in the food.

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In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren't -- lament of the synthetic lifestyle.


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