Nematode can be harmful or beneficial: Some parasitize soil-dwelling pests; other species cause lesions on roots and leaves.
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Pest nematodes cause root knots or galls, injured root tips, excessive root branching, leaf galls, lesions of dying t i s s u e, and twisted, distorted leaves. Plants most commonly attacked at the roots include corn, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables; plants that sustain leaf and stem injury include alfalfa, chrysanthemums, onions, and rye.
Some parasitic nematode species are sold as biological controls for root weevils, crown and stem borers, corn rootworms, and other lawn and garden pests. Beneficial nematodes also decompose organic materials and are common in compost heaps. Description
Nematodes are slender, translucent, unsegmented worms. Most species are microscopic plant parasites only about 1?50 inch long. Species that parasitize insects are largeranywhere from 1?25 inch to several inches long. Beneficial, soildwelling species that break down organic matter are easily visibleabout 1?4 inch long.
` Control pest nematodes by crop rotation with nonsusceptible crops. ` Plant a nematode-suppressing cover crop, such as marigolds.
` Solarize soil with clear plastic mulch for the summer months; this procedure heats soil sufficiently to kill pest nematodes.