Figured organic soil is a good place for this, mostly because it's where you smart guys hang out (obv), and because most organic soil growers gravitate toward biological controls.
Has anybody tried this?
The idea would be to keep a culture of nematodes going at all times with which to inoculate new soil. Or to reintroduce them to pots/soil that has a new infestation of say fungus gnats after they had been wiped out previously. Because obviously the nematodes can't reproduce without hosts.
So, I buy a culture of S. feltiae, which seems to be the most effective species for fungus gnats. I use these to inoculate some sort of host species. I was thinking maybe crickets as they are readily available and I've bred them before. I can do this a few ways. One, just dip the live crickets in some ro water I have released the nematodes into. Or, keep a pot of something like clover, release the nematodes into this pot then bury the crickets a few inches below the surface for them to be infected. Anybody have input on whether either of these ideas might work?
So, I remove the hopefully infected crickets from the clover pot and they die as the nematode's bacteria multiplies in it. From what I've read it takes a week or two for the nematodes to consume the host insect, multiply, and then exit it in predatory form.
During that week or two I take the infected dead cricket and bury it in the soil or pot I wish to inoculate. The goal is that a shitload of nematodes exit from the rather large host and go on the hunt.
I figure I can keep them going in the culture pot with the clover just by feeding them crickets every week or so.
that's why i said i would bury the cricket an inch or so. again, i just said crickets because they're easy to breed. if i needed something larval i could use meal worms maybe. i just wanted something larger because it should produce more predatory stage nematodes.
doesn't really matter if the host dies being buried. all i really need is for it to be infected so the nematodes can reproduce, then pull it out and bury the infected host in the intended pot to release new nematodes.
i might give this a try in a few weeks. a larval host might be necessary so i guess i'll go for meal worms and see if the nematodes like them.