Underground Pests: Worms

Underground Pests: Worms

It is one of the easiest insects to identify: its presence is obvious because, in addition to the damage that usually leaves its mark on your plants, their bodies move slowly through the places they attack.

They are worms, small leaf predators that can do a lot of damage in your garden or orchard. Here you will learn all about this animal and how you can get rid of it forever.

A life underground

Worms are one of the most common pests in numerous plants. Although there are numerous species, the ones that most often appear in horticultural crops are white worms ( Anoxia villosa ) and wireworms ( Agriotes lineatus ). Both affect bulbous plants as well as tubers and some garden plants.

They are of different sizes, rounded bodies, and without limbs. They live inside the earth, so it is very difficult to protect plants from their attacks. Normally, worms usually appear during spring and fall, although they can do so at any time.

In order to identify them, we have to pay attention to the damage they produce in plants: yellowed leaves, even withered, worms between the roots, or holes in them and in the lower part of the stems or even the fruits.

The gray worm

One of the most common worms that deserves a separate section is a gray worm. It groups Agrotis segetum and Noctua prónuba species, which act at night since they remain hidden in the ground during the day.

That is why they are the most difficult species to notice, although we can look for traces of their presence in plant stems, since, unlike other species, they feed on them until they can dry the plants completely.

How to eliminate worm pests

Worms are easy-to-notice pests, but they can cause serious damage to our plants if we don’t realize it in time.

Therefore, we recommend acting in prevention if we do not have them yet. Check that your plants are well maintained and receive everything you need: prune in time, remove weeds and dead or dry branches and leaves, sufficient but not excessive watering, necessary nutrients, and so on.

If, in spite of everything they appear, remember that the sooner you work to solve the problem, the more likely you are to succeed. Here are some effective remedies to eliminate worms :

  • As always, you already know that you can look for chemical insecticides for sale in specialized stores or in agro-gardening, as well as in nurseries. However, we never recommend this option effusively because it can damage both the plant and other microorganisms, and, in general, these products contain toxic substances that can also affect the environment where they are found. Therefore, if you have a truly large pest, we recommend contacting a specialist.
  • For minor cases, we have many options. The most used and one of the most effective with a good result-price ratio is the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. This bacterium is also sold in this type of store, and with a simple sprinkling in the soil of the affected plants, you will get the worms to leave. It is a biological control treatment that ends both butterfly caterpillars and worms.
  • As for homemade and natural methods, we can do two things. First, use eggshells. Yes, it’s that simple. If you keep them when you use the eggs in the kitchen, you can chop them and spread them on the ground. It is both a good fertilizer for your plants and a good repellent for worms.
  • Another method is garlic. This food is used as an infusion repellent for many pests, and it also works with it. You can boil several garlic heads and use the water to spray it on the ground and stems, or you can chop some teeth and leave them on the ground of the affected area.
  • Finally, remember that worms are appetizing food for some species, especially birds. If you make your garden area or your garden a safe and comfortable place for them, they will surely keep and control the population of worms. The good idea is to place nest boxes or small houses in the trees, as well as leave the crumbs that are over you or put small bowls with water.

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