Earthworms

Earthworms

Appearance:  Earthworms are usually tan, brown, or gray in color.  They may grow to be about 14” in length.  They are a tubular shape, and they have segmented bodies.

Location and Behavior Patterns: Earthworms live among the soil.  They eat live and decaying organic material, such as leaves and grass.  They are healthy for the soil, because they act as a natural fertilizer for the roots of grass, plants, and shrubs.  They also increase the amount of air and water that the roots receive; however, too many earthworms in one concentrated area can be harmful.  Too many earthworms can cause soil erosion.

Earthworms carry bacteria that can cause illness in some people.  Bacteria that causes E. Coli and Salmonella, for example, can be transmitted from earthworms, and this could cause gastrointestinal problems for some people.  It is the best practice to not handle an earthworm with your bare hands, or to wash them thoroughly, if you do come into contact with one.

Treatment:  Earthworms should generally be left alone, as they provide a great service for the soil; however, if you suspect an infestation of earthworms, then insecticides are effective at eliminating the earthworms.  If reasonable, then only the area that is infested, should be treated.

Earthworms