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Use of nematicides

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The decision to use nematicides must be carefully evaluated. The simple presence of plant parasitic nematodes does not warrant chemical application. Furthermore, when high populations of nematodes occur in the absence of appreciable damage to turf, it is difficult to justify applications. Nematicides should not be used where contamination of water may occur.

Fenamiphos (Nemacur), the only nematicide both effective on and labeled for control of nematodes on tees and greens, is a restricted use material. In addition, it is one of the pesticides on the Massachusetts Groundwater Protection List. Fenamiphos is being phased out of the market and existing stocks can be used only until October 6, 2017. Turf managers who wish to apply this material should refer to the Pesticide Regulations section of this guide.

Alternatives to nematicides

There currently are no cultural practices that will significantly reduce nematode populations. Any practices that encourage root growth and increase plant health, however, will help turf tolerate nematodes. Several biological controls and other “novel products” are available; however, field trials of these products have not been promising.