We just received a question from a reader who is dealing with some worms in her gardening project. She said she has recently started terrariums, which are transparent globe-like containers that are filled with growing plants. She used some plants and soils that she bought from a local nursery, along with some local mosses she harvested. She wrote that she discovered some small white worms in one of the sealed terrariums about two months after constructing it.
She continues, “They don’t seem to be grubs because they are about the same width all the way down their body. They appear to be coming out from the tips of one of the plants, and they are all crawling up the side of the glass. I even found some on the outside of the glass but they were dried up, it seems they can only stay inside where there is condensation.” She is curious if these are harmless or if they should cause her to worry.
ATTENTION: GET PARASITE HELP NOW! At All About Worms we get a lot of questions about skin parasites, blood parasites, and intestinal parasites in humans. Because we can't diagnose you, we have put together this list of doctors and labs who understand and specialize in dealing with parasites in humans! That resource is HERE
Our reader described these worms as being 3-5 mm long, and sent in several photos and even some videos! The videos show that the worms move in a typical worm fashion, and they are very thin and almost translucent white. What could these be?
The photo and description leads us to believe that she is dealing with nematodes. There are over 20,000 species of nematodes, some of which are microscopic, and one handful of soil might contain thousands of these worms! Nematodes are also known as roundworms. Roundworm shouldn’t be confused with ringworm, which is a fungal infection that affects the skin.
Gardeners who make terrariums often spot these little creatures, so our reader shouldn’t get too anxious about the appearance of these worms. Additionally, nematodes are often beneficial to the soil and plants, and only attack other insects.
|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?
To summarize, our reader found some small white worms in her terrariums. We believe that these are nematodes, or roundworms, and that they will not harm her plants!