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Worms in the Yard: Friend or Foe?

Joe Bunt

April 23, 2024

Worms are a common sight in yards, but not everyone is aware of the benefits they can provide. While some worms can be pests, many others are beneficial to your lawn and garden. In this blog post, we'll discuss the pros and cons of having worms in your yard, as well as how to control them.

Pros of Having Worms in Your Yard

  • Aerate the soil: Worms burrow through the soil, creating channels that allow air and water to reach the roots of plants. This helps to improve drainage and root growth.
  • Improve soil structure: Worms help to break down organic matter and mix it into the soil, which improves soil structure and fertility.
  • Provide nutrients: Worms castings are a rich source of nutrients for plants. These castings contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other essential elements.
  • Suppress diseases: Worms can help to suppress soil-borne diseases by preying on harmful fungi and bacteria.
  • Attract birds: Worms are a food source for birds, so having worms in your yard can help to attract these beneficial creatures.

Cons of Having Worms in Your Yard

  • Damage plants: Some worms, such as cutworms and armyworms, can damage plants by feeding on their leaves, stems, or roots.
  • Spread diseases: Worms can also spread diseases to plants, such as bacterial wilt and fungal diseases.
  • Unsightly: Some people find worms to be unsightly, especially if they are present in large numbers.

How to Control Worms in Your Yard

If you're concerned about the damage that worms can cause to your plants, there are a few things you can do to control them:

  • Handpick worms: One of the simplest ways to control worms is to handpick them off of your plants. This is most effective when the worms are small and easy to see.
  • Use traps: You can also use traps to catch worms. There are a variety of commercial traps available, or you can make your own using a container filled with soapy water.
  • Apply insecticides: If handpicking and traps are not effective, you may need to apply insecticides to control worms. There are a variety of insecticides available, so be sure to read the label carefully before using any of them.
  • Encourage beneficial predators: You can also encourage beneficial predators, such as birds, to help control worms in your yard. Provide these predators with nesting boxes and food sources, such as bird feeders and birdbaths.

By following these tips, you can control worms in your yard and enjoy the benefits that they provide. 

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