Mycophytic nematodes

Is this a Minor Pest?
Minor Pest Title

Mycophytic nematodes (Aphelenchoides composticola and Ditylenchus myceliophagus)

Minor Pest Description

These nematodes (eelworms) are common inhabitants of most agricultural soils. They feed on mushroom mycelium. They gain access to growing rooms in substrate and casing soil. They are spread by insects, personnel and implements. Affected areas become unpleasantly wet and soft with a foul odour because of anaerobic (not needing oxygen to live) bacteria activities. Nematodes affect yield and quality. The degree of crop losses depends on the time and level of the initial infection. Infection at spawning time can have an effect on mycelial growth and thus making cultivation unprofitable. Infection occurring later causes only minor crop losses and goes unnoticed by the mushroom grower. The presence of nematodes on mushroom beds indicates bad cultivation conditions, that is, poor substrate and casing soil preparation and non-observance of sanitation and hygiene.

Minor Pest What to do.
  • Maintain good sanitation and hygiene in growing rooms
  • Use well prepared and pasteurized substrate (compost)
  • Control flies and mites
  • Workers should dip their shoes in a disinfecting solution (sodium hypochlorite) (household bleach) before entering the growing rooms
  • Remove spent substrate from the farm. This can be used as manure for other crops
Minor Pest Position
Minor Pest Firstcontent
Pest Type
nematodes (Diseases)
Host Plants