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Toxic Insecticides for earthworms?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by sciturfman, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. sciturfman

    sciturfman LawnSite Member
    from Zone 9
    Messages: 13

    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?
  2. SpreadNSpray

    SpreadNSpray LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 363

    Is standing water or poor drainage the problem?
  3. sciturfman

    sciturfman LawnSite Member
    from Zone 9
    Messages: 13

    No, there is no water standing and actually one of the lawns has sandy soil!
  4. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    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.
  5. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    If a product is not labeled for earthworms it would be illegal to spray with it to kill them.
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,763

    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.
  7. b121774

    b121774 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    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.
  8. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 398

    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"

  9. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 398

    Important: you must select

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

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

    jonathan ducote LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    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.

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