The Science

The active ingredient – Garlic Extract

When mechanical stress is applied to a garlic clove it allows the Alliinase enzyme and Allicin molecules present in the tissue to react which ultimately creates a range of diallyl polysulfides (DAS). It is some of these substances contained within the garlic extract that have pesticidal properties.

These sulphur containing molecules attack and destroy low molecular weight thiols or their analogues which are found in all animals and fungi by causing oxidative stress.

Complex mode of action

When the diallyl polysulfides react with the cellular LMW thiols it causes a cascade of other chemical reactions that rapidly impact on many cellular functions causing death.

Nematodes, Fungi and insect eggs and larvae are all killed on absorption of polysulfides and the resulting oxidative damage. It is a no return chemical reaction with resistance considered extremely unlikely due to its complex mode of action.

Research & Development

Through extensive research over the last two decades Ecospray has developed a stabilised formulation of garlic extract containing a defined fingerprint of different polysulfide molecules. It is this achievement that has enabled Nemguard to be registered as a plant protection product within the European Union as well as other territories across the world.

Extensive trials on a range of crops such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, aubergines, courgettes and melons has demonstrated efficacy as a soil applied treatment on pathogenic nematodes

Future developments

Ecospray products are the only ones containing garlic extract to be registered as a plant protection product (PPP) within the European Union.

Made from food grade garlic extract and with a zero residue profile (after all we eat garlic) they are increasingly a product of choice as part of both residue reduction and anti-resistance strategies.

Efficacy against pathogenic fungi such as Pythium spp., certain Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani are now being explored along with the impact on a range of insect eggs and larvae.
Registrations are now being extended to include impact on soil diseases.

Sustainable crop production

Impact on soil fertility

Too often the need to preserve fertility and the requirements of crop protection have been at opposite ends of a spectrum and seen as often incompatible objectives.
Pathogenic nematodes alone account of $100bn of crop losses alone each year (source: society of nematology 2015).

Consequently the need to protect plant root systems from the damage caused by these pests is crucially important.
Research has demonstrated that use of Ecospray products on soils to suppress nematodes (as well as other pathogens) while enabling crop yield and quality does not have a long term damaging effect on soil health.

Impact on soil health

This is thought to be as a consequence of beneficial nematodes having a faster recovery cycle compared to pathogenic nematodes. There are also beneficial impacts on soil microbes with research showing a modest increase in soil microbial activity following treatment.


Ecospray products are therefore an important part of a soil health strategy – better, stronger root systems means plants better able to withstand stress from pest and disease attack as well stress from as abiotic factors such as drought and flooding. Soils are more likely to be preserved thus aiding sustainability for the future.

Nematode Facts

Plant parasitic nematodes can be attracted to host root systems by exudates released from the roots as the plant grows.

Cyst nematodes can be more difficult to control than free living nematodes.

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