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Biological control

Biogrowi is a pioneer in natural pest control. Effective, efficient, ecological and biological garden pest control since 1992. With the Biogrowi range, you can be sure of products that are harmless to humans, nature and (domestic) animals. We work with the power that nature offers us. We work with and for nature. Serving nature.

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Biological control with Stenema nematodes

What is biological control?

"Biological control," or "biocontrol" refers to fighting pests with pheromone traps, beneficial insects or nematodes. These are means that do not harm the environment. Biological control is a sustainable form of crop protection, especially pest control with beneficial insects. The best-known examples of biological control are larvae of ladybirds that are used against aphids or nematodes that you use against slugs. However, there are many applications in this field. Biogrowi has been active in biological control for almost 30 years, and as such, is a specialist in this market.

Chemical and biological control increasingly go hand in hand in professional crops, especially in greenhouse cultivation. This is called "integrated crop management," or "ICM" for short. The emphasis is on growing healthy plants where beneficial insects are combined with pesticides that spare the beneficial insects. Organic farming falls under the umbrella of integrated crop management.

As an individual, you may not have access to the professional sprays used in integrated crop management. Many of the chemical products that you can buy as an individual are harmful to beneficial insects. Therefore, we recommend that you never combine beneficial insects with chemical agents or with harmful biological agents such as neem oil, pyrethrum or spinosad. These agents are broad-spectrum and also kill off beneficial insects. Have you sprayed anyway? Contact us so we can guide you on how long you should wait before releasing beneficial insects. The wait times vary, depending on the active ingredients of the spray.

Pheromone trap against box tree moths

Controlling the box tree moth

Box moths can be controlled biologically using a pheromone trap. This trap contains a pheromone that lures male boxwood moths. Females are less likely to be fertilised, so fewer eggs are laid. Would you like to read more about pheromone traps and how they work?

Biocontrol of the boxwood moth is best done using several interventions. The pheromone trap is the first step. With it, you know exactly when the box tree moth starts flying in your area. The second step is to control the box moth biologically using nematodes: the young caterpillars that hatch from the eggs are easiest to eliminate. You can do this with a foliar treatment of Carpo-care nematodes. You should start this about 10 days after catching the first moths. Then, repeat the treatment 5 times with a 1-week interval between treatments, because new eggs are always deposited as long as the boxwood moth flies. Want to know more about nematodes to treat box tree caterpillars?

Biological control of caterpillars

You can control caterpillars biologically with nematodes. However, you should control young caterpillars just as they are emerging from the eggs. Large and mature caterpillars are not very sensitive to nematodes. Caterpillars encapsulated in a cocoon also cannot be controlled with nematodes, nor can other sprays.

The product you need to control young caterpillars is Carpo-care. It contains nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae that kill off caterpillars. It is a contact agent. So you have to touch the caterpillars with the nematode solution. Then the nematodes can enter the caterpillars and poison them bacterially. This causes the caterpillars to die.

Pheromone traps exist for some pests, think of the pheromone trap codling moth, the pheromone trap plum moth, the pheromone trap buxus moth. With a pheromone trap, you can monitor exactly when the flight of the moth in question starts, about 10 days later you can control the first caterpillars.

Want to know more about biological control with nematodes?

Biological control of ants

Nematodes can be used in the fight against ants. Mier-run is a nematode-based product that will kill the ant larvae in the nests. The adult ants leave when the nematodes are doused in the nests. Mier-run is most effective when it can be applied directly into the nests. If your lawn is infested by ant nests, it is best to treat the entire lawn and pour on extra nematodes where the nests are detectable. As with all nematodes, keep the soil moist for at least 2 weeks after treatment.

Onderdak voor hypoaspis

Biological control of varroa mite

Hypoaspis is a product that contains predatory mites that will attack the Varroa mite. The Hypoaspis predatory mites should be introduced into the hive and will then search for the Varroa mites themselves. The best method is to work with an under tray. If this is not possible, you can also scatter the hypoaspis predatory mites on top of the top slats of the greenhouse. In the latter case, you need to scatter predatory mites more regularly than when working with an under tray. In an under tray filled with moist compost, the predatory mites can survive longer.

Controlling weeds biologically

To date, there are no products on the market that are not harmful to the environment and thus control weeds organically. The natural ways to control weeds are weeding, brushing, staking out, mulching or burning away. Although burning away can also be questioned.

Organic weed control in the vegetable garden is best done by mulching. A thin layer of grass clippings, compost, worm earth or leaves are ideal for mulching. This keeps weeding to a minimum, the soil stays moist longer and most importantly, you give extra nutrition to soil life.

People often ask us how to control nettles organically? How to control buttercups organically? How to control creeping buttercup organically? How to control thistles organically? Actually, you always have to look back to the soil. These plants grow in that place because the soil allows it. So they have a signal function, which is why we call them signal plants. If you ignore the signal and try to use chemistry to control the plants, this is a losing battle. Given you haven't addressed the cause especially the substrate, they are going to keep coming back and you have to keep fighting them.

For example, creeping buttercup indicates poor soil structure with water and no oxygen where soil life is absent. Nettles indicate soil with moderate structure that is nutrient-rich with high nitrogen content. Field buttercup, in turn, indicates dry soil.

Organic control of ground elder is not possible with any product. The only thing that helps, at least if you get there quickly, is to dig up the weeds with a rake or fork and pick them up by their roots. Every piece of root that remains will grow back into a new plant. So don't use a spade to dig up the roots because that will cut many roots in two, leading to more ground elder. Milling the soil, too, is not a good idea. Not only because you destroy soil life this way but also because you cut the roots of ground elder into a thousand pieces.

Once you have cleared your site of ground elder, it is a good idea to lay down black ground cloth or thick cardboard for a year. This does not let light through, causing the young ground elder plants to die.

Organic moss control

Fighting organic moss is also a contradiction in itself! There is no biological agent on the market that fights moss in the grass as we are used to with iron sulfate or other chemicals. Fighting moss and spreading fertilizers actually belongs to an old culture that originated after the industrial revolution. Back then, chemical fertilizers were the panacea to make all plants grow once so fast. Slowly we have realized that it is better to use organic fertilizers than chemical fertilizers and now we are coming back from that and focus on stimulating soil life instead of spreading fertilizers.

Moss is a sign that the surface of your lawn is not right. If you don't address the cause, you're never going to solve the moss problem and you're going to want to fight it again every year. As with vegetables and ornamental plants, there is nothing wrong with the grass seed but the poor soil is preventing your grass from growing properly, which can cause moss to develop.

So it comes down to focusing on the soil and taking care of it. If your soil is humus-rich and full of soil life, your lawn will grow well. Want to know more about how to create healthy, living soil?

Specifically for the lawn, there are two main products that can help you create living soil: worm soil and lava meal. With these products, you ensure that the subsoil of your lawn is nourished with humus, beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi (i.e. soil life) and trace elements. Thanks to lava meal, you no longer need to lime the lawn because lava increases the pH level. Besides, there is no more acid rain so there is no need to lime as much as 20 years ago. Using lava meal instead of lime is also better for the vegetable and ornamental garden. Be sure to read our bioblog "Lava meal as a soil conditioner and fertilizer

Control mealybugs on hydrangea biologically

First and foremost on hydrangea there is usually no mealybug but rather the hydrangea mealybug or Pulvinaria hydrangeae. This is a woolly softy aphid that you can control with the four-spotted ladybug in May and June. On the other hand, there is also an ichneumon wasp, it does parasitize only on the young stages of the softheaded aphid so it is important to use it at the right time.

Biological pest control

Pests in your home such as mice and rats are something you want to avoid at all costs. Problem is that pests have become used to poison because they are used frequently. Environmentally and animal-friendly is to use traps. Biogroei offers a range of mouse and rat traps of very good quality that were also produced sustainably.

We have a hygienic and safe mouse trap and a live mouse trap with attractant in our range.

To control rats organically, we have a rat trap with b ait and a vole trap.

Aaltjes mengeling verdelen over de gieters en aanvullen met water

Biological control with nematodes

Nematodes are frequently used against various pests. The nematodes we use are not harmful root nematodes but nematodes that actually parasitize harmful insects.

The nematodes must first be dissolved in water. The nematode solution is sprayed on the soil (soil treatment) or on the leaf (leaf treatment), depending on where the harmful insect is located. For example, grubs are controlled in the soil, thrips larvae are controlled on the leaf while thrips pupae are controlled in the soil. After nematode treatment, the soil must remain moist for at least 2 weeks because nematodes cannot survive in dry soil.

How do nematodes work? The nematodes enter the pest (snail, grubs, thrips larva...) and excrete bacteria there with which they live in symbiosis. The bacteria kill off the pest. The nematodes continue to develop in the dead body and upon decomposition are released back into the soil to infect new pests. Want to know all about nematodes and how they work?

Here I list the different nematode applications and which nematode you need.

  1. Soil treatments with nematodes
  2. Organic control of leatherjackets: use C-green to control young leatherjackets (Larva 1 and Larva 2) between early September and mid-October.

    Combating ride-needles biologically: the best application period to use nematodes against ride-needles is August and September.

    Control slugs biologically: biological control of slugs can be done from March-April until the end of October with No-slug.

    Carrot fly biological control: the carrot fly has several generations. Treatment is possible from the beginning of May until the end of June and from the end of July until the end of September with Mix Care

    Onion fly biological control: just like the carrot fly, the onion fly has two to three generations per year. Treatment with mix care can be done from early May to September.

    Mourning fly larvae can be controlled quickly and effectively with Stenema. For indoor plants, you can use stenema year-round. Outdoors, use the product between April and September.

    Jonge larven van de coloradokever bestrijdt je met felti-care

    Biological control of colorado beetle: the larvae of the colorado beetle are controlled biologically with nematodes, the adult beetles are not controlled with nematodes. The application can be done both in the soil and on the leaves. As soon as the first eggs of the Colorado potato beetle hatch, give a foliar treatment with Felti-care. Repeat this several times because the beetles continue to lay eggs at one-week intervals. Only the young larvae are susceptible to nematodes. So the time to treat is crucial

    After digging up, give a soil treatment with felti-care because the larvae drop into the soil to hibernate. Thanks to the soil treatment, the population of beetles is contained for the following year. Learn more about colorado beetle.

    Biological control of vine weevil: via a soil treatment with Kraunema nematodes or B-green nematodes you control the larvae of the vine weevil in the soil. Kraunema is applied from mid-March to the end of April and from the end of August to November. In the summer period, being from mid-July to the end of August, it is better to work with B-green. Want to know more about vine weevil?

    You can tackle the adult vine weevil with a vine weevil trap. This trap is based on the fact that vine weevils take shelter under boards, pots, stones and the like during the day. The trap is filled with nematodes in a gel substance. When the beetles come to shelter under the yew beetle trap, they are infected with the nematodes and die a few days later. Feel like making your own yew beetle trap?

    Control grubs organically: there are several beetle species that produce harmful grubs. For the most part, grubs live in lawns and lawns but sometimes also under shrubs of shrubs and hedges. Biological control of grubs is done with B-green and B-green+ depending on the beetle species. The application period also differs according to the beetle species.

    Biological control of ants: Ant-run is the product that contains active nematodes against the larvae of ants. As the name suggests, the adult ants leave their nests because the larvae are killed off by the nematodes. Ant-run can be used between April and the end of September from the time of ant activity. The best effect is obtained when the nematodes are poured directly into the ant nests. Ant-run cannot be used against ants in the house because nematodes cannot work on hard surfaces.

    Earth caterpillars biological control: earth caterpillars hide in the ground during the day, at night they come to feed on many vegetable plants. Earth caterpillars can be controlled biologically with Carpo-care between July and October. The earlier you control (July), the smaller the caterpillars and the more effective the control.

    Control asparagus weevil organically: the asparagus weevil has two generations per year but the first generation is the most damaging. Biological control of the asparagus weevil is done with Felti-care starting in early May.

  3. Treatment with nematodes.
  4. Ground flea biological control: between April and August, you can give the soil and plants a foliar treatment with mix-care to reduce the population of ground fleas. The important thing about a foliar treatment is that it is done in the evening and that you spray the plants and grass wet beforehand. in the morning when the sun rises, the nematodes start to die off that have not been able to penetrate harmful insects.

    Colorado potato beetle biological control: a foliar treatment with Felti-care, nematodes against Colorado potato beetle are best performed on the young larvae just emerging from the eggs. Repeat this several times throughout the season as long as the colorado beetle continues to lay eggs.

Een kaartje encarsia poppen aan een tomatenplant

Biological control of whitefly

Biological control of whitefly is possible with parasitic wasps Encarsia or Eretmocerus. Both species are delivered on cards (Encarsia sometimes also as loose pupae) on which the pupae of the parasitic wasps are glued. You simply hang the cards on the stems of the affected plants, which can be done on both houseplants and greenhouse plants. Whitefly is increasingly common outdoors. The lock wasps can also be used outdoors if the day temperature averages 22°C and it does not get colder than 6°C at night. In many cases it is not necessary to control whitefly outdoors since it does not quickly develop into a pest outside.

Want to know more about whitefly?

Control boxwood flea biologically

Boxwood leaf flea is sometimes confused with whitefly. Boxwood leaf flea is only readily visible on boxwood in spring because that's when they produce white wax threads. If heavily infested, there may be deformation of the top leaves but generally there is no need to control boxwood leaf flea. You can also prune the boxwood which will dispose of most of the leaf flea to the container park.

Links van het insectengaas is de afgedekte prei en rechts de niet afgedekte prei

Leek fly biological control

Leek fly or onion fly is the same insect. The leek fly deposits its eggs near the young leek plants, often at the boundary between soil and air. The larvae that hatch from the eggs bore a hole into the heart of the leek plant. Young plants can be especially badly affected by this.

Leek fly can be controlled biologically with nematodes mix-care. You pour these nematodes on the soil against the leek plants. The leek fly has 3 to 4 generations per year but the first generation is the most harmful. So be sure to treat from early May-end of June. The leek fly remains active until September.

If you do not want to treat regularly with mix-care, biological control is possible with insect netting. For the leek fly, insect n etting with a mesh size of 1.35 mm x 11.35 mm is sufficient. If you take the fine mesh insect netting, you protect the leek plants at the same time against leek leafminer. Leeks fly is most damaging at the beginning of planting, and leek leafminer fly is most damaging from mid-August until winter.

Felle aantasting van appelbloedluis op alle takken van deze jonge boom

Control apple aphid biologically

Apple blood aphid is often confused with mealybug. This is because the young larvae of apple blood aphid produce a wax secretion. Thus, apple blood aphid is mainly seen as a white woolly mass found on the branches of apple trees and other susceptible species. Want to know more about apple blood lice?

Apple blood lice can be controlled well with larvae of Chrysopa. The larvae of the native green lacewing are true wolverines. In addition to apple blood aphid, their menu also includes aphids, mealybugs, thrips and small caterpillars.

Larven van lieveheersbeestjes

Control aphids biologically

Aphids have many natural enemies. In nature, you have several parasitic wasps that parasitize aphids, gall midge larvae that eat aphids, hoverflies, earwigs and, of course, lacewings and ladybugs. Want to know more about aphids and their natural enemies?

Since aphids are common, several beneficial insects are also bred to control aphids. Biological control of aphids can be done indoors, in a greenhouse and outside in the garden.

Biological control with ladybugs is best known but Biogroei offers you a whole range: ladybug larvae, lacewing larvae, eggs of chrysopa called Chrysop, adult ladybugs and gall midges Aphidoletes against aphids.

Which plant aphid you want to control organically, you don't need to know. Our beneficial insects against aphids eat all types of aphids, whether black aphid, green aphid or red aphid, they will be dealt with!

Note that branch aphids (= aphids on branches) are much more difficult to control organically because they are much heavier and larger than aphids.

Control chicken lice biologically

Blood mites or blood lice are chicken lice that suck blood from your chickens during the night. These are very vicious little critters that seriously bother your chickens and can even kill them. Want to know all about blood mites and how to deal with them?

Bloedmijten preventiekit
Chickenheppie 10.000 tegen bvloedmijten

Biogroei offers you several biological solutions in the fight against chicken lice

  • Avi-mite to put in your chickens' water. This is a nutritional supplement that changes the taste of the blood, causing the blood mites to stop sucking blood from the chickens
  • A blood mite trap: this is a pheromone trap that traps both male and female blood mites. Hang these starting in February and replace them with a new trap after 25 days.
  • Diatomaceous earth to treat the loft in case of a heavy infestation of blood mites. In case of a heavy infestation, it is better to first reduce the population of blood mites with diatomaceous earth and then release Chickenheppie to chase the remaining blood mites out of the cracks
  • Chickenheppie. The name says it all, your chickens are going to be happy again! Chickenheppie contains predatory mites that suck the blood mites dry. They chase the blood lice out of the cracks in the coop where they usually hide

Attention: blood lice (=blood mites) remain present in the loft even in winter. Then they do not breed further because of the cold temperatures so it seems that they have disappeared. However, this is not the case! At 15°C the blood mites become active again. At that moment you have to start putting out Chickenheppie. By regularly sprinkling Chickenheppie in the chicken coop, you avoid an infestation in the summer.

Biological control of the Suzukii fruit fly

The Suzukii fly has been on the rise in recent years. It is a small fruit fly species that also affects unripe fruit. You find them in small fruits, strawberries but also stone fruits such as cherries and plums.

In cherry trees, this Asian fruit fly is sometimes confused with the cherry fly. To know the difference between the two, read this blog.

To deal with the Suzukii fruit fly organically, we have fruit fly traps. We have these in two sizes: small fruit fly traps with attractant (droso suzukii 5 traps) or large fruit fly traps (droso traps) where you have to order the attractant (dros'attract) separately.

Tip: Control the suzukii fruit fly from March to the end of November, including after harvest. The adult fruit flies hibernate and can therefore be well caught early in the season and late in autumn. This prevents them from building up their population!

Deltaval met feromonen tegen fruitmot in appelboom

Control codling codling moth biologically

You can control codling moth and plum moth biologically with a pheromone trap codling moth and a pheromone trap plum moth. A pheromone trap is a triangular, water-resistant trap in which a pheromone is attached. A pheromone is a lure that emits the exact same scent as the female codling moth or plum moth (the two are different from each other) excrete at the moment they want to mate (=sex pheromone). In this way, you catch the male moths away which reduces or eventually prevents the females from fertilizing and we avoid worm infestation. By hanging a pheromone trap every year, you reduce the population of codling moth or plum moth.

Want to know more about pheromone traps and pheromones?

Want to read more about the codling moth?

Want to read more about the plum moth?

Feromoonval voor kersenvlieg

Control cherry fly organically

For biological control of the cherry fly, use a pheromone trap cherry fly. The pheromone trap is a plastic trap in which a pheromone is attached. This pheromone emits the same scent as the females of the cherry fly secrete when they want to mate. So you catch the males in the trap so that fewer females can be fertilized and in the long run you no longer suffer from larvae in your cherries.

Want to know more about pheromone traps and pheromones?

Want to know more about the cherry fly?

Fight mildew biologically

There are many fungal diseases that can attack plants. Think rust, powdery mildew, downy mildew, phytoftora on potatoes.... to fight organically. Our view is that you can prevent fungi. You do this by working in two areas:

  • First, you pay attention to your soil because an active soil ensures that the plants are well nourished and makes the plants strong and resilient
  • In addition, you can use two products to strengthen the leaves of your plants: Oenosan and Microferm. Both products work through a different mechanism.

Oenosan is micronized calcite rock that you spray on the leaves. The very fine powder is carried by the sap flow and starts strengthening the leaves from within.

Microferm are Effective microorganisms. By spraying this product on the leaves, you create a biotope of beneficial bacteria and fungi on the leaves, giving harmful fungi little chance to develop.

The products are only effective if you spray them regularly. Start with this from the first leaf formation and spray every 3 weeks until the end of the season

Zwemvijver biogroei

Biological control of floating algae

Floating algae are the result of excess nutrients in the water such as silt, food waste and fish excrement. To combat algae, you need to create a microbial balance in the water. You do this with products based on Effective Microorganisms: Microferm and EM Pond. Microferm creates an overall favorable pond balance, EM-pond specifically combats algae. Both products must be used in combination. The amount depends on the size of the pond. Similarly, you can avoid floating algae in swimming ponds.

Want to read more about algae in the pond?

Read more about how to create a natural swimming pond?

Control mealybug biologically

Mealybugs are common on houseplants, orchids and cacti. Mealybugs can also affect tropical plants and fruit trees in greenhouses or orangeries. To address this problem, you can work with Chrysop or Chrysopa. Chrysop contains eggs of chrysopa stuck on convenient hanging cards, from the eggs, after about 5 days, the larvae emerge and search for mealybugs. A scatter tube of Chrysopa already contains the larvae of chrysopa that can be scattered directly on the leaves.

Chrysopa larvae are true wolverines and will eat your plants mealybug free. Unlike sprays, the larvae can easily find mealybugs in leaf axils and other hidden corners.

Note that mealybug sacs containing mealybug eggs are not eaten by chrysopa larvae and thus remain visible on the plants.

Beukenbladluis op groene beukenhaag

Beech aphid biological control

The woolly beech aphid is a common pest is on beech hedges; red beeches are affected even more fiercely than green beech plants. Sometimes they are confused with white fly because the woolly beech aphids also fly up.

Biological control of the beech aphid is best done with larvae of Chrysopa. Chrysopa larvae come in a tube with buckwheat flakes. The buckwheat flakes are the ideal hiding place for the larvae. You scatter the contents of the tube on top of the beech hedges when the hedges are mature. If they are not mature, it is best to use bioboxes to distribute the larvae among the plants, otherwise they will fall to the ground.

Ants protect the aphids and may throw the larvae of chrysopa off the plants or even bite them to death. If you have ants, eliminate the ants first before releasing Chrysopa larvae.

Nestkast voor koolmezen, huismussen, boomklevers

Biological control of processionary caterpillars

There are several biological control options for dealing with the processionary caterpillar. Burning away the nests with a weed burner is possible but has several disadvantages. In addition, the oaks are usually so high that you need an aerial worker to do this and thus need to hire someone professional. Therefore, we recommend using naturally occurring enemies as much as possible. Here I am thinking primarily of great tits and bats. Hang cabbage tit boxes and bat boxes in the fall. Coal tits are first in line, blue tits and ring sparrows follow. The birds eat few caterpillars themselves but feed them en masse to their young. The big-eared bats hunt the adult butterflies.

Want to know more about great tits? Read our bioblog about Great Tits

Want to know more about bats? Read our bioblog about bats.

Biological control of oak processionary caterpillar with pheromone traps and nematodes

Biological control of the young larvae of the oak processionary caterpillar (larval stages 1 and 2) can be done with Felti-care. These are nematodes to be sprayed on the leaves of the oaks in the evening. This should be done during the first few weeks of April, when the young larvae are present and there are few other caterpillars with the exception of winter moth caterpillars. Spraying later than mid-April is not recommended because you will kill off too many other caterpillars leaving tits with too little food for their young. This work should be done with an aerial applicator.

To control the processionary caterpillar moth biologically, hang a pheromone trap oak processionary caterpillar. This is a plastic trap with 2 pheromones, enough for one season. You hang the pheromone trap when the butterflies fly from early July to September. The pheromone in the trap releases the same scent that the females excrete to lure the males when they want to mate. So the male processionary butterflies are lured into the trap. If you trap away many males, this indicates a large population of oak processionary moths in your neighborhood. From this you can deduce how many caterpillars to expect - in the following year.

Want to read more about the processionary caterpillar butterfly?

Organic mole control

There are many remedies against moles, but we find the mole repellent the most effective. The bio-growth mole repellent works on solar energy, simple and environmentally friendly! The ultrasonic sound chases the mole out of that area. The Biogroei mole repellent is also sustainably produced.


Biocontrol of the cabbage fly

The cabbage fly lays its eggs at the base of cabbage plants. The larvae that hatch from the eggs feed on the root neck and roots of the cabbage plants. As a result, young cabbage plants die, older plants become loose, develop drooping leaves and a typical lead color

The simplest and most efficient way is to use cabbage collars. The cabbage collar covers the soil around the cabbage stem, preventing the cabbage fly from laying eggs.

Radishes are also affected by cabbage fly. They cause worm infestation in the radishes themselves. To avoid this, you can grow radishes under insect netting starting in mid-April.

Biological control of cabbage flies can be done with Mix-care, nematodes that you pour into the soil around the cabbage plants. The time of application is crucial. The cabbage fly has 2-3 generations but the first generation is the most harmful. Treatment with nematodes is possible from mid-April- late April, depending on the warmth of the spring. The second generation flies from the second half of June. By then the cabbages are already larger and less susceptible to cabbage fly. The third generation mainly targets sprouts. They lay eggs on the sprouts themselves. In the latter case, give a foliar treatment with Mix-care nematodes on the sprouts themselves.