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Killing parasitic nematodes in lawn

 
Terry Journey
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Can anyone tell me how I can kill parasitic worm larvae in my lawn?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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What type of parasite are you talking about?  The easiest method to "kill off" any parasite is to not provide the final stage host or the intermediate host if there is one.

 
Casie Becker
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Since your title said nematodes, I'm going to guess it's something like root knot nematodes.  Being in a lawn is an added complication, but poking around I do find a few things you might try that will at least be unlikely to make things worse. Most of these suggestions do double duty as natural fertilizers also.

One of the recommended controls here is rolling in crab shell (really any crustacean shell).  Reading some more suggests the eggs of nematodes contain a high percentage of chitin, so maybe this increases the number of potential egg eaters.

Supposedly you cause a population explosion in beneficial soil life if you add agricultural molasses. Maybe this includes the bacteria and fungi that prey on the nematodes.  Some of the things I'm finding say adding sugar to the soil has been shown to inhibit nematode growth.

And then a final idea, maybe you could make a compost tea using plants that naturally repel the nematodes and water it into your lawn.

As you can probably tell, I am not any kind of expert, so I've limited my suggestions to those things that would be beneficial even to a healthy yard. My power went out as I was looking for information, so I've lost all the tabs open to supporting information. I'm writing this on my phone.

 
Terry Journey
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The type of worm I am most concerned with is canine lungworm. And other canine worms as well, but mainly lungworm, which we have in our area. This particular type of lungworm we have in Oregon does not require an intermediate host such as a snail, but is spread directly from other dogs, wildlife, etc. Yes, keeping them out is critical, but the grass in my yard may already be infected, so I need to "disinfect" one area before I build a kennel or fence around it.

When you say to use "crustacean shell", do you mean diatomaceous earth? Also, WHAT may increase the number of potential egg eaters? The crustacean shell increases egg eaters? I think I just don't understand the sentence, can you help?

 
Casie Becker
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Sorry I wasn't clear. By crustacean I mean things like crabs and crawdads. The important thing is that it be formed of chitin. Since we've got the power working again, here's a link to an article http://homeguides.sfgate.com/crab-shell-control-nematodes-80417.html

But I was assuming that you were speaking of parasites of plant nematodes. I think it's likely that your lungworm has the same type of eggs, but I'm just guessing that's it's like all birds having similar eggs.

edit: I'm adding this topic to the dogs and cats forum. Maybe someone else has dealt with the problem with their animals.
 
Travis Johnson
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I might be out of line on this, but as a sheep farmer I can break the parasitic cycle by leaving an area free of sheep for 21 days. Know the cycle, and you can break it and stop further infestation.
 
Terry Journey
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Travis, that is interesting. I wonder what makes that break the cycle, do you think the larvae die because there are not sheep on the area? Not sure that makes sense. If the larvae are there in the area, even if no sheep are on it, why would the larvae die?
 
Travis Johnson
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Sheep really have it tough when it comes to parasites, they graze close to the ground, their manure is in easily broken down pellets, and the life-cycle is so short for the parasites they ingest. It really is a vicious cycle; the parasites inside them (commonly called worms) grow and fester, especially in the summer months, then get pooped out, the pellets, quickly broken down by the elements, allow the larvae to start regenerating in the grass, and because of the sheep grazing so close to the ground, they pick them back up, put them in their stomachs, and the trip starts all over again. The best way to stop the cycle is to not have the sheep pick them up again. So as long as a pasture is rested for longer than 21 days, the larvae die off because they do not have a host stomach in which to thrive in.

It is a HUGE reason to rotational graze with sheep, or sadly, a better alternative is not to graze at all. That is because in confinement situations, the poo is cleaned out behind them daily, and fresh feed is stuffed in front of them. If that feed is silage, in most cases the heat of fermentation kills off the larvae causing the sheep to live a parasite free life.

Currently I graze my sheep, but I have few parasite issues, only because I have ample pasture. Here it is possible to graze 10 sheep to the acre, but my sheep get 2 acres per sheep. That means they are not passing over their own poo while larvae is active. For that reason I only have to deworm once per year, while a farm that has limited pasture and must feed sheep through bought feed all year long, may have to do parasite control 6 times per year.

Dewormers are merely a chemical means in which to kill worms inside the sheeps stomach. I use time instead to kill worms.

I do deworm at shearing time though for a very important reason. Because my sheep have been fed winter feed all winter, their worm counts are very low. I can then shear them, kill what little bit of worms they do have, then turn them out on fresh fields. Some worms will inevitably remain, but by putting them on fresh pasture, they drop their worms behind them, not to go back and graze over them long after they are dead. I do however keep sheep on my bigger pastures long past 21 days in the dead of summer, BUT that is a dry time of year, and worms only thrive in moist conditions.

It is a Permiculture mainstay, whether it is regarding weeds, or worms, knowing what they thrive in means you can make life uncomfortable for what they don't want and kill them off. With weeds it might be sweetening the soil with lime so that the PH is more to neutral, but in this case it is breaking the life-cycle of worms.
 
Terry Journey
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Travis, unfortunately I cannot seem to find out what the larvae of this particular worm "perfers" in the environment. I can only assume they like it moist, but I don't know for sure if they can persist even in dry areas. There is so little information out there about the dog lungworm, olerus osleri, and what there is, sometimes the information conflicts. I live in a fairly moist area, lots of rain in the winter, and warm and humid in the summer, probably a great environment for them, sadly. I have built a dog run for my dog with river rock, but it is so small and he no longer gets to put his nose in the grass, his quality of life is so sad now   I am sad too. Plus tormented as I do not know how to fight this foe. I assume killing the larvae would be fairly easy using HEAT or STEAM (in the dog run), maybe borax? But how can I kill them on my lawn so that my little guy can put his nose in the grass again. I don't think the grass is being reinfected often, but maybe it is. We don't know what wildlife is carrying it...and we have alot of squirrels and feral cats around, there are also raccoons, coyotes and foxes, occasionally.

Unfortunately with this lungworm, the dog can re-infest itself, as they cough, then larvae are disturbed from the trachea, and are swallowed, then once they get into the intestinal tract, they cross into the bloodstream, make their way back to the lungs and trachea, and the whole process starts over again. My dog has been de-wormed 3 times using Panacur, and he still has them. We are at wit's end.

Thank you for your time and your posts. I would love to hear if you have any more ideas!
Terry
 
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