Nemaslug Frequently Asked Questions
What is Nemaslug?
Nemaslug is a unique product, containing microscopic worms (nematodes) which seek out slugs and stop them feeding on your plants within 3 days and then kill them.
Why use Nemaslug?
Nemaslug is an effective alternative to chemicals. It is safe to use and harmless to children, pets, birds and wildlife.
How do I apply Nemaslug?
Nemaslug is applied very simply using a watering can with a coarse rose. Full instructions are on the pack. Application of the standard pack normally takes 30 to 40 minutes. It is important to use the correct amount of water during application since this ensures the nematodes are washed into the soil and gives an even application.
When can I apply Nemaslug?
Nemaslug can be applied any time when slugs are present as long as the soil temperature is 5oC (40oF).
What will Nemaslug control?
Nemaslug will control all common species of small to medium sized slugs up to 8 cm (approx. 3 inches).
How long does Nemaslug work?
One application of Nemaslug will provide at least six weeks control of slugs.
Are there any special precautions?
Only in regards to applying near ponds as Nemaslug might affect water snails. To avoid harming water snails keep the treatment 15cm (6 inches) away from ponds.
Can Nemaslug be used on clay soils?
Nemaslug can be used on clay soils that have been well worked with other organic materials. Do not use if the area you wish to treat is waterlogged or very heavy wet clay.
Is Nemaslug harmful to anything else?
Nemaslug is harmless to other wildlife, pets, birds and children.
Are any special conditions required?
Nemaslug should be applied to moist soil. If applying in hot weather it is better to wait till later in the day when the soil won’t dry out so quickly and the nematodes will have a chance to migrate under the ground during the night.
What happens if the temperature falls after I have used Nemaslug?
The control may be a little slower. However, the nematodes are capable of surviving even the odd frost.
Will Nemaslug be washed out of the soil during prolonged wet weather?
Unlike some other slug control methods, Nemaslug continues to work well during wet weather – exactly when you need protection against slugs!
Is there any benefit from applying Nemaslug in the autumn?
If you apply Nemaslug in the early autumn you will reduce the number of slugs laying eggs and consequently reduce the new population emerging in the spring.
When is the best time to apply Nemaslug to protect my potatoes against slugs?
The best results are obtained by applying Nemaslug 6 to 7 weeks before harvest. This is when the tubers are most vulnerable to slug attack.
Can I water Nemaslug directly on to plants?
Nematodes live in the soil so, if you can, it is better to apply to the soil. However, if because of dense foliage this is impossible, after application wash them off into the soil with some extra water.
Can I eat produce that has been treated with Nemaslug?
Yes, just wash your fruit and vegetables in the normal way.
Can Nemaslug kill snails?
The nematode used in Nemaslug is a mollusc killer however, nematodes live under the soil and snails tend to stay on the surface, so they don’t come into contact very often. It does have a slight effect on small snails as they remain under the soil for longer.
Why use nematodes?
Most slug killers are applied to the surface of the soil. Slugs spend most of their time underground, coming up at night to feed. Sometimes they won’t come up at all if they can feed on potatoes and newly planted seeds as they germinate.
Most slug pellets contain metaldehyde, which irritates the slug causing it to produce more mucus leading to death by dehydration. However, slugs can lose up to half of their body weight by dehydration but can still recover within two hours of exposure to water.
Some slug pellets contain methiocarb. This chemical is a non-selective carbamate that acts as a stomach poison and is generally more toxic to other organisms such as birds and hedgehogs.
Slug pellets can provide good localised control at the point of application but are less effective during wet weather, and there are increasing concerns about the effects of these chemicals on wildlife and pets.
There are also various barrier and capture methods, some of which work better than others. However, they nearly all rely on the slugs being above ground to be effective.
Nemaslug Slug Killer, part of the Nemasys range, is the simple solution for slug control in your garden that is safe for children, pets and wildlife.
A regular regime of using Nemaslug every six weeks is the best way to keep slugs at bay throughout the growing season.
Nature’s allies in slug control:
Don’t forget that using nematodes will not harm wildlife, so will work in harmony with nature.
Many songbirds thrive on a slug diet; therefore you can make your garden attractive to them by providing nest boxes and areas of dense shrubbery (shelter for them to escape from their own predators, like sparrow hawks).
Hedgehogs love feeding on slugs at nighttime. A favourite resting place is the compost heap, so take care when moving your heap and check there are no hedgehogs.
Frogs and toads have a high dependency on slugs in their diet. Providing a garden pond helps to encourage them into your garden.
Some insects are also important predators of slugs, for example ground beetles. As ground beetles feed on slug eggs, they can reduce slug populations before they have inflicted any damage whatsoever. To encourage these important insects, you should provide areas for them to shelter like logs and stones scattered around the garden and possibly under bushes.
Delivery and Storage
Nemaslug is despatched using Second Class Post every Monday; we do this to avoid packs being held in depots and sorting offices.
We use Second Class Post to deliver the nematodes, the packs should fit through a standard letter box and no signature is required.
If packs are left in a warm environment their effectiveness may be impaired, so as soon as you are able, remove the pack from its mailing envelope and place in the fridge (don't freeze). It is good practice to use packs promptly; however there is a use-by date on each pack and nematodes can safely be refrigerated up to this date. The date is typically four weeks from manufacture, so allowing for transport and dispatch times you should have about three weeks in which to use the pack. If a pack is ever left out of refrigeration for a long period then please use immediately.
Treatment Area and Preparation
Nemaslug comes in two pack sizes, 40m² and 100m². If you have a larger area to treat you can use multiple Nemaslug packs it is best to apply each pack of Nemaslug individually. If the area is smaller than a stronger dose won't hurt, or you could treat an adjacent area. There is an important difference between metres square and square metres. To put it simply a large 100m² pack will treat an area that measures, for example, 10m by 10m. If you are treating a very large area then try marking sections off with a garden hose and treating each with a measured dose of Nemaslug.
You should try to clear any debris, gravel, membrane, foliage or fallen leaves. Nemaslug needs to be applied directly to the soil. It will be absorbed into the ground much more readily if the soil is moist, so water first or wait for a damp day. Evaporation can also effect the application, so it is best to avoid very bright or windy conditions. If you do apply though foliage then wash the treatment from the foliage to the soil with extra applications of water.
Nemaslug should be applied to soils that are at least 5°C. They will survive the odd frost, but applying to hard frozen ground, or prior to a long cold spell will render Nemaslug ineffective. A soil thermometer is a great investment.
Follow the instructions on the pack, they will be up to date and incorporate any changes. There are two main methods of applying Nemaslug; with a watering can, or with a garden hose fitted with a hose end sprayer. Please note that Nemaslug may kill water snails, so if you have a pond or water course avoid applying within 15cm.
The watering can should be fitted with a coarse rose. When the nematodes are mixed with water the solution is very fluid, however a fine rose will quickly block, leaving all your Nemaslug in the watering can and none on the treatment area.
Follow the instructions on the pack, which will vary depending on the size of pack you have purchased. For the 40m² pack you will divide the contents into quarters, best to do this out of the wind. You don't need to be totally precise, but try to make the quarters even. Each of these quarters should be mixed into 8 litres (2 gallons) of clean water in a watering can. Stir well to mix then apply immediately. You apply each quarter in turn, before mixing the next.
For the 40m² pack each watering can (each containing a quarter of the pack) will treat 10m². Know in advance where your 10m² area is. Consider having a 'dry' run first with clean water so you know what pace to walk at to ensure an even application of Nemaslug. Use the whole pack and don't store made up solution. Please refer to the pack for the correct application rate and dilution. Applying Nemaslug is very simple, safe and clean.
Garden Hose and Feeder
When treating very large areas it may be quicker to apply using a hose pipe and feeder.
Whichever method you use to apply it is good to re-water everything following application. A good soaking will help the nematodes penetrate the soil. If possible keep the ground watered throughout the treatment period. Once the nematodes have started moving though the soil they will be less vulnerable to surface effects.
Nemaslug will not kill a slug instantly on contact. The nematodes need to infect the slug, this may take a few days, and the slug will then stop feeding and die. Large slugs, above about 8cm, are less vulnerable to Nemaslug. Most slugs and certainly juvenile slugs are active below the surface, Nemaslug is very effective at stopping a slug problem from developing. Pellets can be used alongside Nemaslug, should you feel the need. Nemaslug is particularly effective in wet conditions, when slugs are at their worst and pellets are at their least effective.
Nemaslug will kill snails, and many retailers sell it for that purpose, however Nemaslug is not generally an effective snail treatment due to the snail lifecycle. Nemaslug is effective in the soil and the majority of a snail's life is spent above the ground.
Depending on soil and weather conditions a single treatment of Nemaslug will be effective for six weeks. It is a good idea to apply at the start and end of the season (March/April and October/November) to kill off early generations and those over-wintering for the following season. A full season's continuous treatment would take 6 x 6 weekly applications, which is 6 packs in total (depending on the area treated). You should get Nemaslug delivered when you need to apply to ensure the nematodes are fresh.