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Want to Get Rid of Them? Just Make Them Uncomfortable.

We received a rather brief inquiry from a reader, with no accompanying picture. The question is: “How do you get rid of them in your home or yard?” Amazingly enough we can answer this question even though we don’t know what critter she’s asking about. In almost every case, our advice to people seeking to remove creepy-crawly-critters is going to include these two steps: Physically remove said critters from the area where you do not want them Make that area in hospitable to that creature (often by removing the critters’ food source) Generally, it really is that simple. If our reader doesn’t want to see so many earthworms, then she can try to provide better drainage in her yard so they won’t want to come to the surface if it rains. If she sees too many carpet beetle Continue reading [...]

Tiger Worms in Compost Pose no Risk to Garden Wildlife

Recently, we received a question from a woman who had a waterlogged wormery. She threw the entire contents into the compost bin and now she finds that her compost includes big, happy, healthy composting worms in it. She suspects that the composting worms are tiger worms. This is probably correct, since tiger worms (Eisenia fetida, also known as red wrigglers) are often used in wormeries. They’re great little composters. Continue reading [...]
bottom of glass terrarium

Will Tiny Worms In Terrarium Kill Plants?

Our reader has begun an eternity terrarium (pictured), and after three days has started seeing white, threadlike worms in the soil. The soil looks like yard or garden soil, which widens the search, but we think the soil introduced nematodes or nematomorpha-- young horsehair worms. Alongside nematodes, garden soil plays host to a near-limitless number of invertebrates and micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoans and algal forms. Each can contribute fundamentally to the recycling of organic matter into topsoil with the vital nutrients that plants need to grow. It’s estimated that as many as a billion of these micro-organisms reside in a single gram of soil. Eggs and tiny larvae can hitch-hike in with these microorganisms, on unwashed rocks and shells, or any other backyard Continue reading [...]
Worm in the Shower

Canadian Worms Can Take A Shower Too

One of our Canadian readers' two-year-old son and her husband had just finished up a shower when they found this worm in the tub. They'd had a shallow bath at one point, after which her husband had taken the shower head down and thoroughly sprayed down the tub, walls, etc. and there was nothing in the tub at that point. After they were done and ready to get out, this was crawling in the bottom of the tub at the opposite end from the drain. From what we're provided, it appears to be an annelid, perhaps a bloodworm but likely an earthworm that rode in on one of the bathers or perhaps found its way into the tub when Dad pulled the shower head out of the wall mount to spray the surround clean. No object or measurement has been included to determine scale but we will estimate this creature Continue reading [...]
worms and flood

What Happens to Worms in Hurricane and Flood Weather?

As Hurricane Matthew moves off the east coast of the United States leaving flood waters behind, communities are reeling. Did you ever wonder what happens to worms when it floods? We know that when it rains, earthworms come to the surface to help regulate their breathing for migration overland. As worms don't have lungs, they breathe through their skin, and in order to do so they need moisture. The temporary wet conditions after rain allows them to move greater distances across the soil. Because they don't have lungs, earthworms can't drown like people do, either. So it's good that earthworms can survive underwater for several days. But do earthworms ever come up in standing or running water, and if so, what do they do? Earthworms and other invertabrates negotiate the rising and falling Continue reading [...]

Black Soldier Fly Larvae Come From Composting Pot

One of our readers found black "worms" coming from her compost pot on her balcony. These "worms" are black soldier fly larvae. They are fabulous decomposers and are associated with composting. They may be unsightly, but they are doing great work in her compost bin and are not harmful to humans! Continue reading [...]
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