Infestation of some type of worm in lawn

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Infestation of some type of worm in lawn

Post by dhadams1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:13 am

We have worms in our lawn that look like really small earthworms (about 1/2" to 1" long). We noticed them about 2 summers ago when we would see small mounds of dirt that we thought were created by ants. Last summer, when they were even more numerous, we dug up several of those mounds only to find these small worms. What are they? They are destructive to the lawn in two ways: (1) We have so many mole tunnels that walking in the yard is a chore now! AND (2) When it rains, all the dirt from these mounds washes out of our yard into our gravel driveway. We have approximately 1 1/2 - 2 acres of grass around the house that is surrounded on 3 sides by woods. The grass is disappearing more each year where the worms are concentrated (only to be replaced by weeds). Since we have well water (an artesian well), we have not wanted to use a lot of pesticides. We need to know if they are some type of grub and how do we get rid of them????

Debbie Adams
King William, VA

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Re: Infestation of some type of worm in lawn

Post by lorijones » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:22 pm

An overabundance of earthworms in a lawn can cause major problems similar to the ones you are seeing. Unfortunately, earthworms are one of the favorite foods of moles and this adds to the problem. Most grub controls do not affect earthworms - luckily because most of the time earthworms are very beneficial to the lawn and garden. The best thing to do is to try to make your lawn less favorable for the worms. Do you have an automatic sprinkling system? Worms are attracted to moist soils and if the upper regions of your lawn are constantly moist, the worms will congregate near the surface and cause more problems with their castings and burrowing. One recommendations is to let the upper few inches of the soil dry out to force the worms to go deeper into the soil where they won't affect your turf as much. If you have an automatic sprinkling system reset it so it doesn't water as often. Another recommendation is make your soil a little more acidic by putting down a soil acidifier like aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate. This will make the soil less favorable for the worms but it may also make it less favorable for your grass. Be sure to check the soil pH before you do this because you don't want it to go below 7 as this can make problems for the grass. Be sure that you don't mow your grass too low. Mow it no lower than 3" or 3 1/2". This will also help hide the castings and keep them from washing into the driveway.

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