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View Full Version : Toxic Insecticides for earthworms?


sciturfman
01-22-2009, 09:14 PM
Does anybody know what insecticides are toxic to earthworms? I am having a problem in a couple of customers lawns with too many earthworms! They are mostly in the wetter parts of the lawn and the grass is thin. I have done a soap drench and they come up by the dozens! I am certified and have been for 15 years but I haven't dealt with this before. Any ideas?

SpreadNSpray
01-22-2009, 09:25 PM
They are mostly in the wetter parts of the lawn and the grass is thin. Any ideas?

Is standing water or poor drainage the problem?

sciturfman
01-22-2009, 09:58 PM
No, there is no water standing and actually one of the lawns has sandy soil!

grassman177
01-22-2009, 10:17 PM
i think killing earthworms is illegal and not a target pest. may be wrong, but seems like i remember this topic somewhere. having too many i think is like imposible. the more the better. they are beneficial and they take much caution to make sure the products we use are not toxic to them. the problem i think lies somewhere else.

mngrassguy
01-22-2009, 10:44 PM
If a product is not labeled for earthworms it would be illegal to spray with it to kill them.

greendoctor
01-23-2009, 01:28 AM
The only thing I can suggest is improving the drainage and aeration of the soil. The reason why they are active at the surface is excessive water below the surface. I sometimes deal with areas that are dry at the top, but almost a river underneath. Earthworms are a problem in that case. Do a search on this subject.

b121774
01-23-2009, 07:33 AM
I have used Cabaryl(Sevin) with good results in the past. I can't seem to find it anywhere now though. I don't think there are any insecticides that are labeled for earthworm control.

Puttinggreens
01-23-2009, 09:29 AM
Check out this University of Kentucky data on pesticide toxicity on earthworms.

If the link does not work Google u of Kentucky, Dept of Entomology, fact sheet "ENTFACT-402"

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef402.pdf

Puttinggreens
01-23-2009, 09:35 AM
Important: you must select

"Download the printable version" when viewing the ENTFACT-402,

this will give you a list of pesticides and their toxicity.

jonathan ducote
01-23-2009, 09:51 AM
Thiophanatel-methy works well. I know it is a labeled fungicide. However, when Clearys came out, it was a labeled insecticide. Once the product started showing great results with disease control, they changed the label to make more profitt$$$. If you find an orginal label for this product some 25 years ago, you will see where earthworms were on the label.

Naturalturf
01-23-2009, 10:25 AM
Earthworms need organic matter to feed on and the high water drives them to the surface. Sounds like you need to amend the soil and/or drainage as others have recommeded. I would be curious to see if there is any product labeled for earthworm control, as they are very beneficial.
good luck

DUSTYCEDAR
01-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Bag them up and sell them

mrkosar
01-23-2009, 10:34 AM
educate the customer on the benefits of earthworms. improve drainage. don't kill the worms. ask the customer if they would rather have a good soil/lawn with earthworms or a lawn that struggles and needs more water because suddenly there is a thatch layer pushing 2 inches and the root system is bunched up in it.

nik
01-23-2009, 11:11 AM
As far as EPA is concerned, a pesticide may be applied to any site on its label regardless of the pest. The only exception is when using a rodenticide where the specific rodent must be labeled.

That said, the state where you work may have rules which state that the pest must also be present when using the product. In Oregon, there is no pest requirement.

We've had guys up here do lawn drenches of insecticides for mole control in the past. Not to kill the moles but to kill the worms and grubs and other food that the moles depended on for food.

Could the wet area issue by solved with drain pipe?

Are they dead set against having the worms? some are some aren't around here. Worms are verbotten on greens at the gold courses. Customers get real mad when their putts go off line because of worms. And they get icked out when they put a ball with worm casting in their pocket. They'll do the same things with fungicide on the ball and don't mind at all.

They spend lots of time keeping the greens worm free. The fairways they don't care about.

Once again. it is your state (and possibly local ordiniances) that determines if you have to have the pest. But not the EPA.

Kiril
01-23-2009, 11:37 AM
educate the customer on the benefits of earthworms. improve drainage. don't kill the worms. ask the customer if they would rather have a good soil/lawn with earthworms or a lawn that struggles and needs more water because suddenly there is a thatch layer pushing 2 inches and the root system is bunched up in it.

I agree .... and add some compost. :) Compost does a soil good!

DUSTYCEDAR
01-23-2009, 11:41 AM
Worms r goood

Ric
01-23-2009, 12:03 PM
As far as EPA is concerned, a pesticide may be applied to any site on its label regardless of the pest. The only exception is when using a rodenticide where the specific rodent must be labeled.

That said, the state where you work may have rules which state that the pest must also be present when using the product. In Oregon, there is no pest requirement.

We've had guys up here do lawn drenches of insecticides for mole control in the past. Not to kill the moles but to kill the worms and grubs and other food that the moles depended on for food.

Could the wet area issue by solved with drain pipe?

Are they dead set against having the worms? some are some aren't around here. Worms are verbotten on greens at the gold courses. Customers get real mad when their putts go off line because of worms. And they get icked out when they put a ball with worm casting in their pocket. They'll do the same things with fungicide on the ball and don't mind at all.

They spend lots of time keeping the greens worm free. The fairways they don't care about.

Once again. it is your state (and possibly local ordiniances) that determines if you have to have the pest. But not the EPA.

Nik

Thank you for beating me to post the legal facts of label law.

greendoctor
01-24-2009, 02:12 AM
You did not hear this from me, but the grub control rate of Sevin and the necrotic ring spot rate of 3336 will stop earthworm activity. Especially if turf is irrigated according to label directions immediately after application. I have nothing against earthworms. I think they are the best thing for a lawn. The reel and bedknife on a $2500 mower beg to differ.