We often see earthworms in our soil, which provides benefits for the soil. They increase the nutrition, ensure an improved drainage system, and improve soil structure. However, they may disrupt forest ecosystems by eating a massive amount of forest ecosystems. That’s why you want to control them.
So, the golden question is, Does weed killer kill earthworms?
Yes, glyphosate-based weed killers can kill earthworms. But you have to apply a large quantity in the correct manner. And, there should not be rain because the solution will be washed away through the rainwater.
Here we are putting more details about “Does weed killer kill earthworms?” Let’s jump in!
Does Weed Killer Kill Earthworms?
Most gardeners own weed killers as they are pretty common in most households. Aside from killing weeds using weed killers, have you ever thought of using them to kill earthworms?
It will be really helpful as you are killing two birds with one stone. But this requires you to determine whether the kind of weed killer you have is suitable for killing earthworms.
Earthworms have a particular body structure that can withstand many toxic ingredients. Thus, not all chemical-based weed killers can kill earthworms even if they have a higher percentage of toxicity.
Killing earthworms requires you to apply a particular type of weed killer. According to several studies, glyphosate-based weed killers have given positive results by killing a lot of earthworms at a time.
However, you need to apply the solution several times to kill all of them. Apart from that, if your lawn area is enormous, you may need to use a bulk quantity.
We found it as the best insecticide to kill earthworms.
Using this type of weed killer requires you to be cautious. After all, these weed killers are dangerous for plants. As earthworms move continuously, you may end up spraying them on your plants mistakenly.
Furthermore, applying a large number of toxic weed killers may damage the soil quality if you do it repeatedly. You can also manually get rid of earthworms. But when they are large in quantity, it is pretty hard to kill them one by one.
Thus, using a reliable solution can only help you to remove earthworms from your garden soil. If earthworms stay on the ground for a longer time, it will compact the forest soils and reduce soil fertility. It also consumes a lot of organic matter from the soil.
Why Should You Get Rid Of Earthworms?
Earthworms provide some benefits to the soil and plants. But when their quantity is huge, you will even forget their benefits.
A large volume of earthworms will likely create casts on the lawn surface, also known as lumps. They will consume organic materials from the top of the soil.
Apart from that, they create an unbalanced lawn structure while living on the soil. That looks really odd! Additionally, they may attract pests or animals such as moles to come. They are likely to ruin the swaths of ground.
How To Kill Earthworms Naturally?
Natural solutions are the best as they don’t cause any harm to humans and wildlife. If you are wondering about “can I kill earthworms using natural solutions, here are mentioning some of them.
Vinegar and Earthworms
When you are looking for an easily accessible and low-cost option, vinegar is one of the best choices among them. Though there is no proof that vinegar kills earthworms, it will at least kill your garden weeds.
So, you must be wondering why you should use vinegar on earthworms? Do you know how vinegar works? Whenever you apply vinegar to a substance, it generally dries it up by absorbing moisture from it.
In addition, earthworms can’t breathe without moisture. So, when vinegar reduces the moisture level from the surrounding environment, worms struggle to breathe. If it continues for several days, earthworms have a probability of dying.
However, killing earthworms using only vinegar may be difficult since worms can adjust their bodies based on the surrounding environmental conditions.
Furthermore, you may end up damaging all the green grass on your lawn when you apply this acidic environment. But if it doesn’t address any problem for you, you can use pure acidic vinegar on the particular area where you want to kill earthworms.
Alternative Approach to Remove Earthworms
Should we reveal to you a full-proof approach to remove earthworms from your garden? Though worms need an appropriate amount of moisture to live, excessive humidity will force them to get out of the soil.
Plus, they get oxygen from the ground. Lack of oxygen and excessive moisture pressure them to come on the soil surface.
On the other hand, it can’t also withstand excessive sunlight. When its body is directly exposed to sunshine for several years, it starts to dry up and die.
What Chemical Products You Can Use To Kill Earthworms?
There are different types of chemical-based products you can use to kill earthworms. They are effective in decreasing the population of earthworms. There you can see some of them:
|1||Dursban (chlorpyrifos) or Imidaclopirid|
|3||Diazinon or Bifenthrin|
Killing off earthworm populations with these effective products is easy-going and a quick approach. As they are powerful and contain many toxin ingredients, you may end up harming other plants and lawns. Thus, apply them carefully. Most importantly, you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to use them in the correct quantity. Only then will you be successful.
How To Control Earthworms On Your Lawn?
Often, it is not possible to kill all earthworms completely. But you can control them. Controlling earthworms will prevent them from harming the soil. As there are beneficial types of earthworms, keeping some earthworms will actually do good for the ground.
Here are some experts’ suggestions:
- Ensure you mow the lawn regularly and strictly follow the routine throughout all seasons, especially during the growing season.
- Before using the lawnmower, don’t forget to clean the machine properly.
- Don’t unnecessarily build up grass clippings on the lawn surface. After mowing the whole garden, clean them off from the surface.
Does Roundup Kill Earthworms?
Though there is no guaranteed Round will kill earthworms, it affects their life heavily. Worms will be affected more and more as you apply the solution.
For example, an earthworm takes approximately 2 minutes to burrow. Researchers had an experiment on how Roundup affects earthworms for their burrowing time. They have used different portions of Roundup to make dilutions. Here are is their results:
|Percentage of Roundup||Burrowing Time|
|100%||More than 20+ minutes|
So, from the chart, you can see, the more Roundup you use on the earthworm, the more time it takes to burrow fully. So, why does this occur? Roundup is a chemical-based weed killer, which contains glyphosate.
We found it as the best Roundup to kill earthworms.
When you use Roundup on earthworms in higher percentages, it affects their nervous system significantly. But when it is at a lower rate, it doesn’t affect the nervous too much.
If you want to kill earthworms using Roundup, you have to use higher percentages of solutions. Additionally, repeated application is also necessary. One or two times applications may not be enough to kill them.
However, you may end up damaging your soil and harming the grass for multiple applications within a short time. As Roundup is a chemical-based product, you should be cautious while applying it to any surface.
There are no reliable reports, which showed Roundup kills earthworms. Therefore, we can’t 100% guarantee you that Roundup will surely kill earthworms even if you apply it several times in larger volumes. After all, it is designed to kill earthworms but weeds.
Glyphosate Experiments on Earthworms
Several researchers of the National University of General Sarmiento have performed an experiment on how glyphosate affects the lives of earthworms.
They used the solution on three different groups of earthworms. They didn’t apply any glyphosate on the first group of earthworms. They showed a positive population growth rate after one week.
They have used a regular dose of glyphosate on the second group of earthworms. It showed a negative population growth rate after one week, unlike the first group.
Lastly, they have used a double dose of glyphosate on the third group of earthworms. It showed a more negative population growth rate after one week, unlike the second group.
|1st group||No dose||Positive population growth rate|
|2nd group||Regular dose||Negative population growth rate|
|3rd group||Double dose||More negative population growth rate|
So, from the above experiment, we can say that the use of glyphosate-based products on earthworms affects their lives in different ways. It reduces their population growth rate and slows down their burrowing time.
Is the question of “Does weed killer kill earthworms?” still popping out from the head? Weed killers are supposed to kill weeds but not earthworms. However, a large volume of weed killers may reduce their population significantly if you apply them several times. But it may harm your garden soil and lawns. To prevent earthworm infestations, you should choose a product that contains anti-earthworm ingredients.