The sting nematode (Belonolaimus spp.) is a microscopic roundworm about 1/12 inch in length. It is found almost exclusively in soils with a high sand content (80 percent or higher) and thrives in irrigated fields since there is a constant supply of moisture. All life stages remain in the soil, feeding at or near root tips. Sting nematodes do not enter plant roots, just clip them by feeding. Even small populations can cause serious damage because of a powerful toxic chemical injected into the roots during feeding. Root feeding by sting nematodes is shown above along with the typical stunting pattern observed with infestations of this pest.
Diagnosing Corn Problems
Sting Nematode Damage in Corn.