Earthworms, that are better known as the first gardeners are a common sight in every garden. They are present in every soil type but are greater in number if the soil is healthy. The earthworms breed successfully in healthier soils as it provides them with all the basic necessities of like, the air, moisture and food. There are four basic types of earthworms:
1. The red worms that are about 3- 4 inches in length and are easily available commercially.
2. The manure worms that are 4- 5 inches in length and can be found in the soils rich in manure.
3. The garden worms that are 5- 7 inches in length and are found very commonly in the damp soils.
4. The night crawlers that are 8- 10 inches in length and are famous with the fishermen as they aid in effective fishing.
The earthworm night crawlers are of immense help to the farmers in many ways. It is so because it is the earthworm night crawlers that are responsible for the overall tilth and health of the gardens, lawns and farms. The activity of the earthworms improves the soil environment considerably by increasing the water and air movement in soil. They do this by making tunnels in the soil by their movement thereby making space for water and air to seep in it. The earthworm night crawlers also help in decomposing the thatch and to alleviate compaction.
This is also true that the activities of the earthworms, especially the night crawlers, creates very often quite rough lawn surfaces which can be dangerous and annoying both. The tiny castings that are left on the soil by the earthworms are one of the factors which contribute to the bumpiness of land. The other basic problem that is encountered with the earthworms is that they travel from the gardens and the greenhouses to unwanted areas like the patios, side walks and the swimming pools causing much of a trouble.
It is tough to find any good pesticides for controlling the earthworms in the market. Although there are some fertilizers and pesticides that are known for having certain impact on the earthworm night crawlers, but there is none of the effective ones that can control their breeding absolutely. At times, the pesticides when used on the earthworm night crawlers have adverse effects on the other non target organisms that are actually beneficial for the plants of the garden.
Instead of using insecticides and pesticides to kill the earthworms, it is better that the farmers or the gardeners use other methods to eradicate the earthworm night crawlers. The night crawlers can be exposed to the birds who take delight in eating them. In fact, whenever caught they can be given away to the fishermen who use them for the fishing purposes. It is essential that the farmers and the gardeners do not mistake the common earthworms for night crawlers and cause them harm as the former are very beneficial for improving the soil quality.