Healthy soil is alive with organisms great and small that work to break down dead plant and animal matter, releasing nutrients for your plants to use. Soil can also contain pests that can damage your garden.
White worms (Enchytraeus albidus) are one of the worm species you might find in your garden soil, although they are far less common than earthworms. White, wriggling and measuring up to 1 1/2 inches in length, they are one of the soil residents that help break down organic matter. They cause no harm if you find them in your garden.
A less welcome sight in your garden is the grubworm, beetle larvae that feed on the roots of plants, including ornamental and vegetable plants. Although not technically worms, their worm-like appearance can fool you at first glance. These white or cream-colored pests curl into a C shape when touched, and a closer look reveals three pairs of legs just behind their heads. They can measure up to 1 inch in length.
You can purchase chemical pesticides that will control grubworms in your garden. Check the label to ensure the product is safe to use on your plants, particularly food crops. Natural control options include various diseases and parasitic nematodes that act as natural enemies to grubworms.
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