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Beginner Gardening Questions: How to rid garden of pests, w/o killing my earthworms?

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 7, Views: 89
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Russellville, AR

April 16, 2007
9:40 PM

Post #3399645

Is there a way that I can exterminate the roly-polys, pincher bugs, and other garden pests, without killing garden friendly creepy-crawlies, like earthworms?
Jackson, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 16, 2007
11:35 PM

Post #3400158

the roly polys as we all used to call them Pill bugs are a benifit to your garden. they detox the minerals in the ground and a re a big part of decomposing. look down the page as significance of them. intersting

Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 16, 2007
11:38 PM

Post #3400163

A lot of those creepy-crawlies that are in the soil are either good, or at the very least they don't do nearly as much damage as the above-ground pests. One exception would be grubs in the lawn, but most of the other things it's probably OK to leave them alone. Only thing that's ever attacked my plants from underneath the soil is gophers!
Russellville, AR

April 16, 2007
11:46 PM

Post #3400178

Thanks for the reply. I shall leave well enough alone.
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2007
6:04 PM

Post #3418972

if anything throw some birdseed out. it will attract the birds and they will also look for
some bugs to go along with their seed
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2007
11:45 AM

Post #3421410

With patience, I've learned that even leaving the "bad" bugs in place will draw in the "good" bugs and birds. Since I've been trying to go more and more organic in the garden and stay away from using chemicals as much as possible, more and more critters show up, including creepy crawlers. Once a food chain is established things start to balance out. The only time I run for the spray can anymore is when something is potentially going to cause me harm (carpenter bees attacking last year!), or if something is *really* wiping out a section of my garden. Even when I find I have a problem w/ crawlies, there's often an organic way to go...or if used carefully the chemicals don't need to be applied as often or as much as directed.
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2007
11:48 AM

Post #3421423

If by pincher bugs you mean earwigs, you can make traps for them that won't affect the worms. Rolled up newspaper or carboard with some oatmeal will draw them, then you can just throw the whole thing out. Or cat food cans with a little vegetable oil. They're usually not a big deal, but sometimes they are a problem in large numbers.
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

April 23, 2007
10:55 PM

Post #3423818

Be glad you have most of them! In my coral soil, almost nothing lives, so we plant mostly in containers. When we find worms (we have to make sure they ARE worms and not our only indigenous snake, a small blind one that looks a lot like a worm), we jump for joy and welcome the little beasties with a party! Small burrowing beetles are also a cause for joy...but we do have to separate them some and spread the wealth. I had a pot of old ginger roots I was about to toss, then decided to dump it in the yard and separate out the roots...low and behold a whole family of worms...I had neighbors and my daughters family in the yard bidding on them! Ha ha! Put them in the ground under my Plumeria - I know how to treat that kind of royalty!

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