Sting Nematode Control on Bermuda Putting Greens in the Southeast
Have your Bermuda putting greens been plagued by sting nematodes? Or would you like to find out how to prevent them from attacking? Find out what you need to know in this Q&A below.
What are sting nematodes? Why should we be worried about them?
Nematode, sometimes referred to as a roundworm, are some of the more abundant animals on earth. Nematodes thrive in sandy soils and are, in most cases, introduced to properties through topdressing sand and sand used for surface renovations of greens. Some species are very harmful to putting greens in the Southeast.
The sting nematode is one of these species. They feed on the root systems of your green, hurting the plant in two ways. It greatly inhibits the plant’s root system’s function to take up water and fertility, causing thin, yellow, and weak turf in isolated areas of the green. However, keep in mind these areas have already been infested, and they would have moved on to other healthier-looking turf. It’s essential to make sure you treat the entire surface when applying nematicide.
What do we spray to treat for sting nematodes?
For curative applications, I would recommend spraying Bayer’s Indemnify at .39oz/M at 14-day intervals. This product is also preventive but can be used for curative purposes at any time. It’s very important to water to the depth of the root zone where most of the species are feeding. I would also introduce an azoxystrobin to that mix, such as ArmorTech’s Zoxy 2 SC at .77oz/M as well as Foliar-Pak’s Colonise Bio. When you kill the nematode, you leave an exposed and, in most cases, a damaged root. You can aid recovery by protecting the root with a fungicide as well as a nourishing soil feed.
When do we apply Indemnify for preventive maintenance?
For preventive maintenance, I would recommend spraying one application of Indemnify/Zoxy 2 SC/Colonise Bio in October or November as your roots are going into dormancy and need that extra protection through the winter. I also suggest a follow-up application in the spring to help aid transition and green-up. Remember, when you can visually notice the damage, it’s typically too late. So, if your area is prone to nematodes, the best defense is to stay ahead of them.