White Worm In Soil

Fat White Worm In Soil And What To Do With Them

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Real Men Sow

You may see white fat grubs that have brown heads when you amend your soil. What should you do when you see them? The first thing you should do is to identify them, and make sure whether they’re harmful or beneficial. 

Why is it good to have fat white worms in soil

Helps Organic Farmers With Excess Waste

Cow pies are everywhere there are cows. This is true for all livestock, including chickens and pigs. It’s just a fact. It is part of the process, even though you may not think about it while having a glass or a hamburger. Excessive use of cow patties can have negative consequences. Apart from the unpleasant smell, cow manure can attract parasites such as worms or flies. In addition, cows will not graze on pastures that have been contaminated with dung. 

Dung Beetles in worm

Worst of all, a lot of cow pies can cause heavy runoff during rains. The trickle-down effect of the manure is that it is washed into streams, rivers, and creeks nearby, which pollutes them. This is where our friend, the dung beetle, comes in. Dung beetles can be described as insects that churn manure into balls. Many species actually dig underground tunnels for their young, but many are thought to be dung beetles. This reduces the amount dung that could attract parasites and be washed into the waterways. This gives cattle more space to graze.

White Worms Help Fertilize Your Soil

Flies seem to be attracted to all the animal waste lying around. The dung beetles can bury these poop balls underground so that the flies cannot access the substance. Fewer flies mean less poop. 

The buried manure balls also have another benefit. Gardeners will go to great expense and often risk transforming animal manure into garden beds. It’s a wonderful natural fertilizer. These bumbling bugs help plant roots by burying their poop balls underground. This win-win arrangement has been in place for thousands of years.

Cutworms

The larvae of many moth species are known as “Cutworm”. Adult moths lay their eggs on plant debris in spring and fall. Some species hatch in spring and summer, while others hatch in fall. The moths that hatch in fall overwinter in soil or woodpiles, and emerge in spring hungry.

The cutworms are most destructive in the early part of the gardening season when they awake from winter slumber to feed on the seedlings. Although cutworms are actually caterpillars, they are frequently mistaken for grubs of beetles like Japanese beetles which can be equally destructive.

How to Identify Cutworms

Cutworms eat a variety of vegetables and flowers. This means that any seedlings or transplants are at risk. You can identify cutworms by going out into your garden at night or in the morning to inspect the base of the plants. They can also be found on cloudy days.

There are many species that can vary in color, including black, pink, green, and green. Some species can even grow to two inches long. They come in solid, spotted or striped forms. When they’re not moving, they tend to curl up. Cutworms are very stealthy and prefer to eat at night. They hide during the day.

Identifying Cutworm Damage

Cutworms eat the stems of plants at their base. Cutworms eat the roots and leaves of young plants and can even remove the plant from beneath the soil. They can cause complete destruction of entire plants. Even if the bottom is damaged, the top of the plant will often shrivel up and eventually die.

Cutworms can sometimes climb to the tops and cause damage to plants in the summer. This damage should not be confused with cabbage worm or slug damage.

How to Protect Seedlings from Cutworms

Prevention is the key to avoiding cutworms that can cause severe damage to seedlings.

Plant collars can be used to protect the stems. To prevent cutworms reaching tender stems after transplanting, wrap each stem in a 4-inch piece of aluminum foil or cardboard. Although this is a time-consuming task, it works well for smaller gardens.

Pick cutworms from plants by hand. Use a flashlight and gloves to go out at night. Take out the cutworms, and wash them in soapy water. Repeat this process every other night.

Use diatomaceous earth to surround stems. Diatomaceous earth (D.E.) is a natural powder made of ground diatoms. D.E. is a fine powder that gets into the exoskeleton of insects and eventually dehydrates them.

Warning: D.E. is also dangerous to pollinators like butterflies and bees. So, don’t use it near flowers! D.E. should be placed at the base of plants. It should be at the base of the plants so that pollinators don’t see it.

For best results, apply an insecticide in the late afternoon. Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that kills soft-bodied insects as well as their larvae.

Advice from The 1963 Old Farmer’s Almanac

    • Mulch of oak leaves can be used to combat cutworms.
    • Cutworms are prevented from cabbages if they have Tansy.
    • Cutworms can be rooted in a hog that has been transformed into a garden by turning it into an early spring garden.

How to Prevent Cutworms Long-Term

  • Spring will bring out the cutworms, who will wait to feast on your garden. If possible, delay planting or transplanting for a few weeks to reduce their food supply.
  • Keep up the cultivation. Moths will lay their eggs in high grasses and weeds. To expose cutworms, mow the surrounding areas and plow the garden at the end of the season.
  • Parasitic wasps and green lacewings are beneficial insects that will attack cutworms as well as other soft-bodied insects. 
  • Birds are another natural predator for cutworms. Therefore, you should make your garden more bird-friendly
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