What Is the Difference Between Dilly Worms & Nightcrawlers?


Fishermen often bait their hooks with nightcrawlers, or Lumbricus terrestris. These large earthworms can grow to 10 inches long. Children who fish often use smaller, young nightcrawlers, called dillies.


  • Dillies are about 2 to 4 inches in length, while Canadian nightcrawlers used as bait usually run 5 to 8 inches.


  • Dillies (also known as dillys) are used to catch trout, sunfish and bluegills, while nightcrawlers can be used to catch these and catfish and pike as well.


  • Often called Canadian nightcrawlers, Lumbricus terrestris can be picked off fields and lawns in the northeastern United States. Night pickers harvest them commercially in Ontario, Canada.


  • Nightcrawlers typically cost between $2.50 and $3.50 per dozen, while a cup of 15 dillies might run the same.

Fun Fact

  • Canada exports about $20 million worth of nightcrawlers to the United States annually.


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