Lee Butler Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University
When troubleshooting reasons for turfgrass decline, we often recommend growers submit samples to the NCDA for a nematode assay as part of the elimination process. Quite often the results do show that one or more nematode species are above the threshold. If you have areas that are showing symptoms that resemble heat stress or nutrient deficiency and do not respond well to fungicides, fertility, or irrigation, then you may want to submit a sample to see if nematodes are a problem. This especially holds true for turfgrass managers in sandier soils or those growing turf in sand based mediums, i.e. golf course putting greens.
Even though control options are limited now, it's still critical to know what is attacking your turf. This can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary fungicide applications chasing a disease that was never there to begin with.
For more information about nematodes, please visit the following link: http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/insects/nematode
For more information on how to submit a sample to the NCDA, please visit the following link: http://www.agr.state.nc.us/agronomi/nemhome.htm