Controlling the soil stage of false codling
moth in citrus and other crops.

Controlling soil stages of pests like false codling moth, weevils, white grubs and others.

Target pests:

False codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta), weevils, white grubs, codling moth and others.


Cryptonem contains entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) of the species Heterorhabditis bacteriophora that are formulated with an inert clay carrier to form a powdered product.


See Label


Brochure Label

Compatibility with other pesticides

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Many species of insect pests undergo their larval or pupal stage in the soil. EPNs actively hunt for insect larvae and pupae in the soil. Upon contact with the insect, EPNs will penetrate the insect and release the symbiotic bacteria into the insect. The bacteria will kill the insect within 2-3 days. The nematodes will then reproduce inside the larvae. The nematodes will eventually exit the cadaver and spread throughout the soil for further infestation of insects.

Humans, plants and beneficial insects are not affected by Cryptonem. EPNs are only effective against certain insects. EPNs have been introduced into many parts of the world as biocontrol agents and there have been no reports of environmental safety being violated, despite this often being closely monitored.

Cryptonem can be applied as a soil or foliar application, depending on the target pest.

a) Soil Application

Cryptonem can be applied to the soil through overhead-, drip-, and microsprinkler-irrigation systems, as well as spraying equipment. Drip irrigation should only be used where the even spread of Cryptonem can be ensured to all areas under the crop where pests may occur. Drip application are therefore not recommended for tree crops like citrus and deciduous fruit. It is of utmost importance to apply Cryptonem to wet soil and the product needs to be carried through the soil profile with adequate irrigation after application of the product. Thorough coverage and drench of the soil is necessary for optimum efficacy. It is advisable to keep the soil moist to ensure maximum survival and activity of nemadotes.

b) Foliar Application

Cryptonem can be applied to above ground parts of crops with conventional spraying equipment. The pressure shouldn’t exceed 20 bars, filters need to be removed and nozzles larger than 0.8 mm are recommended. The surface of the plant should be thoroughly covered by the spray solution. This would for example be suitable for diapausing codling moth on apple tree trunks.

Usage restrictions

• Do not apply to dry soil.
• Do not apply to soil that is colder than 16°C or warmer than 35°C.
• Do not apply to soils within two months after the application of nematicides.

The timing of a Cryptonem application depends on the life cycle of the target pest. In general, Cryptonem must be targeted when the majority of the pest population is at a certain life stage and vulnerable to EPNs. For instance, a high proportion of a false codling moth (FCM) population will occur as larvae/pupae in the soil during autumn, winter and early spring and 3 weeks after a peak in FCM activity and infestation. These periods will be ideal for Cryptonem applications, as long as soil temperature is suitable. Please see the label of Cryptonem for more detailed timing recommendations.

Cryptonem contains live nematodes and must be treated as a live product. The nematodes in Cryptonem are in a semi-desiccated state and will only become active upon suspension in water. Cryptonem must be stored at 4 – 8 °C for a maximum of 6 weeks. Cryptonem should not be frozen.