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:
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- 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 larvae, she can vacuum and mop thoroughly and often. If the problem is drain fly larva, then cleaning the drain pipe with a good stiff pipe brush should remove the organic matter that they’re eating, and the larvae will leave on their own accord.
As it turns out, all of us live with these creatures every day. In many ways, they’re our friends. Carpet beetles and their larvae eat the little bits of skin and hair that fall off all of us every day, keeping it from building up on the ground. Spiders help to keep down local fly, roach, and termite populations. Earthworms help keep the dirt in our gardens aerated, while composting worms turn decomposing plant materials into nutrients usable by living plants.
There are, of course, some creatures who we don’t really think of friends. There are two common reasons for that: either they pose an actual danger to us or to our pets, or they want to eat the same things we want to eat.
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Many of the worm-type creatures that are dangerous to us require medical attention to eradicate because they are actual parasites that infest our bodies (or those of our pets) and can cause real issues if left untreated. We always recommend seeking medical attention if there is any reason to think that a parasite has been contracted.
As for worm or larvae that want to eat our food, there are a myriad of examples. Tomato hornworm caterpillars see our vegetable gardens as all-you-can-eat buffets. Army worms can strip crop fields bare in amazingly short periods of time. There are fruit-eating worms such as the plum curculio that can be quite problematic to farmers. In these cases, simply removing their food is more difficult because it’s our food, too. There is no general rule of thumb available for removing this type of critter. While some can just be picked up and moved to a new location, others may require more complex methods.
In conclusion: Whatever “it” might be, the secret to getting rid of them is to make your place inhospitable to them. If they’re uncomfortable, then they’ll leave. Though, we admit, this may be easier said than done.