Corn cultivation

Control of the western corn rootworm with nematodes

The western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) was introduced from North America in 1992 and has been spreading inexorably in Europe ever since. In the USA, it causes billions of dollars worth of damage every year. This is caused on the one hand by the larvae eating the roots and on the other hand by the beetles eating the threads of the corn cob. The result: reduced yields.

Our nematode product dianem® can be used effectively for sustainable control of the western corn rootworm.

Our corn-expert: Michael Barth

I will be happy to advise you on biological pest control in corn cultivation.


What is dianem®?

dianem® contains entomopathogenic nematodes of the species Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. This nematode is a natural enemy of the corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). Entomopathogenic nematodes do not require registration in Germany, France and many other EU countries and are registered as plant protection products in Hungary and Austria (Pfl.Reg.Nr.3318).

How well does dianem® work?

The efficacy levels are proven to be higher or equal to those of chemical insecticides.

Trials conducted by the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald District Office showed a 3.5-fold reduction in corn rootworm in seed and grain corn through the use of dianem®.




Lasting effect of Dianem®

Insect pathogenic nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriphora) live in symbiosis with bacteria. The nematodes carry some cells of these bacteria in their intestines, invade the larvae and pupae of the western corn rootworm, and release the bacteria. This infection leads to the death of the insect within 1-2 days. The nematodes multiply in the larvae and leave the dead insect in thousands ,in search of more live Diabrotica larvae. This ongoing multiplication and building nematode population creates a lasting effect.


How is dianem® applied?

Application after emergence next to the seed row.

Application at a depth of approx. 10 cm ensures a good capillarity connection even in dry weather.

The use of the InnovAR experimental unit Liq-Inject in practice for nematode application has also proven successful in 2020 and 2021 on heavy loess loam soil (higher survival rate of nematodes).

For one treatment, 1 billion nematodes are applied with 200 liters of water per hectare. The cost per hectare in 2021 was about 80€/ha including application.


Spreading with the precision seeder.

Special injectors have been developed by Cult-tec for this purpose. They are currently available for the Monosem NG 2, NG plus 3, NG plus 4 and Kuhn Maxima and Maxima II seed drills. Adaptations to other precision seed drills are easily possible.

The Liq-Inject® sits behind the press roller, the nematode liquid is added to the open seed furrow, directly onto the pressed seed. The pressure roller ensures a good capillarity connection. 200 liters of water per hectare are sufficient to settle the nematodes in the soil.

Reasons for using dianem®

  • High efficiency
  • 100% biological
  • Application at seed or in postemergence
  • No development of resistance
  • Harmless to beneficial insects


Feel free to contact us personally.