one-inch white worm in garden

One-Inch White Worm or Larvae in Garden

We recently received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about a white worm in the top soil of a reader’s garden. The white worm (or potentially white larva) is about an inch long (2.5 centimeters) and is fairly skinny. The reader was only looking for an identification, so we’ve concentrated our efforts on this matter. What could a one-inch white worm or larva in the garden be?

Here is the picture the reader submitted along with her question:

UPDATE! All About Worms has partnered with HealthLabs so that
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required
! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!

one-inch white worm in garden

As our use of the words “worm” and “larva” partially suggest, we’ve had some trouble figuring out what this creature is. In most cases, when people write to us about “worms,” they actually mean some sort of larva, and this has been true of people inquiring about garden “worms” as well (unless they are only talking about regular earthworms). Thus, when we first confronted this question, we filed through some of the common larvae people find in gardens, which are often connected to a specific crop. For example, we considered potato tuberworms (Phthorimaea operculella), which can be white like the creature above, although in general they don’t look identical. However, the creature above, with its elongated body and lack of legs (as far as we can tell), does look like an actual worm, as we use the word “worm,” and we can’t get around this fact.

This leads us to think that our reader perhaps found a white worm. These simply named creatures make up the family Enchytraeidae, and they live in a broad range of environments, ranging from glaciers to marine habitats. The species our reader might have found is obviously a terrestrial white worm, and it might be a so-called “potworm,” which are found in highly organic environments on land, like compost bins. Indeed, we have only heard of white worms in the context of composting, but they could of course be added to a garden if one’s compost bin contains these worms, and perhaps that is how the reader found one in the top soil of her garden, assuming she did in fact find a white worm. And unfortunately we can’t be sure this is what she found, but it’s a suggestion that is worth looking into.

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did we provide for you today?:
Summary
One-Inch White Worm or Larvae in Garden
Article Name
One-Inch White Worm or Larvae in Garden
Description
The white worm (or potentially white larva) is about an inch long (2.5 centimeters) and is fairly skinny.
Author

2 Comments

  1. Scott

    Great …. it’s the exact little guy that way passing by my feet.. I had literally just finished spending organic compost ( store bought ) in my garden and sat on my patio.. it peaked my interest because it was very nimble and quite ” spunky”. Lol. Touching it with a stick made it spin and flip and actually seemed to bite at the pine needle I was using…

  2. Scott

    Great …. it’s the exact little guy that way passing by my feet.. I had literally just finished spending organic compost ( store bought ) in my garden and sat on my patio.. it peaked my interest because it was very nimble and quite ” spunky”. Lol. Touching it with a stick made it spin and flip and actually seemed to bite at the pine needle I was using…

Leave a Comment (but to submit a question please use the "Submit a Question" link above; we can't respond to questions posted as a comment)

Menu / Search

All About Worms