How to effectively get rid of worms (indoors and outdoors) (2023)

  • Pest control
    • A beneficial insect
    • Common pests
    • pesticide
    • weeds

How to effectively get rid of worms (indoors and outdoors) (1)

Have you just found worms in your home or yard? Worms can appear in various parts of your home, including the yard, and sometimes even on pets.

There are many different types of worms, and the term generally refers to the larvae of flies of the order Diptera, such as houseflies and houseflies. There are other types of worms outdoors, such as rootworms or cornworms.

Each species requires a slightly different approach to get rid of these pesky intruders once and for all. If you are dealing with a worm infestation, then this article is for you.

Not only will it help you understand what they really are and the common types, but it will also help you learn how to get rid of them in and out of your home. As a bonus, we share all the ways you can prevent future infections.

Content

What are worms?

The term "worm" refers to the larvae of flies of the order Diptera, such as houseflies, houseflies and blowflies. These flies are characterized by small bodies and antennae. Therefore, all types of worms have a similar appearance.

They feed on decaying organic matter and dead tissue of living organisms. From the beginning of the life cycle of one worm to the attack of hundreds or thousands of worms, it takes only 8 to 20 hours.

There are different types of worms, depending on the insect they come from and the area they infest.

How to identify worms

Worms look like small, cream-colored worms that can grow up to 3/4 inch. Worms don't have legs, but they have two small hooks that they use to eat.

Are worms dangerous?

While flies are known for spreading disease and being annoying, worms are not dangerous and can even save lives.

Worm therapy is a common medical practice in which certain types of worms are bred for use in hospitals. They eat dead tissue and carrion to remove bacteria from infected wounds. In some cultures, worms are considered a delicacy.

On the other hand, common worms from the litter are likely to be contaminated with bacteria, which can lead to bacterial poisoning if eaten.

So if you see worms, it's time to deal with them. This is especially true if you find crops outdoors that they are likely to feed on and cause damage.

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Common types of worms

housefly worm

People often find worms in their homes. They are houseflies and can be very annoying pests. House fly maggot populations can pose a threat to human health as they are known to transmit various pathogens and diseases.

Housefly eggs look like grains of rice. Over the course of a day, the eggs hatch and house fly larvae appear. Their sole purpose is to consume food and store energy in preparation for pupation. The larvae search for food for about five days, after which they seek dry, dark areas to develop pupae.

apple worm

One of the worst fruit pests in the United States is the apple worm. Adult apple worms emerge from the soil in summer.

Female flies have four white stripes on their abdomen, while males have four black stripes. Both have transparent wings with black bands.

After eating the honeydew on the leaves, the females start digging holes in the apple bark and lay an average of 300 eggs under the bark over 30 days.

In 2 to 10 days, worms or larvae hatch from the eggs and for about 30 days they eat the fruit, crawling through it and leaving it to rot. The caterpillar then lands, burrows and enters the pupal stage.

Most apple worm pupae are less than 2 inches below the soil surface. They spend the winter in the ground, and come out like flies in the summer.

Damage from apple maggots results in stunted fruit growth and misshapen, sunken fruit. Insecticides can be used to kill the worms before the flies start laying eggs.

Apple worm - Image author: Dreamstime.

rod maddike

this hererod maddikeIt is a common pest of onions and carrots. Adult rootworms look like houseflies and lay their eggs in soil cracks or on plant stems near the ground.

These legless worms range in color from white to pale yellow and cause the plant to turn yellow after about four weeks of feeding on the roots. Worm tunnels can be seen on the roots.

The best way to control rootworms is to rotate crops and use natural methods to eliminate them, such as ground beetles and small wasps that eat the worms. In severe infestations, soil insecticides can be used.

Rodmaddiker - Billedkredit: Dreamstime.

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seed corn worm

Corn worms are the larvae of small flies that feed on the seeds and young shoots of corn, beans, peas, and other legumes.

Adult flies lay eggs in the soil near seeds or seedlings. The larvae hatch from these eggs, feed on seeds or seedlings for about 2 weeks, and then pupate in the soil.

Damage to seed corn is characterized by wilting and yellowing of seedlings, stunted growth and reduced yield. Control measures include crop rotation, use of resistant varieties and pesticides.

How to get rid of worms indoors

If you find worms in your home, the following steps can help you get rid of them once and for all:

1. Area for disinfection

If you've ever seen worms, you probably understand why they're there. Worm infestations are usually caused by rotting food and dirt, so you need to find the source of the dirt and deal with it, followed by thorough disinfection.

The kitchen is usually the biggest problem because it is where food is most likely to spoil and where garbage accumulates that attracts flies and worms.

You should wipe down tables and work surfaces, mop floors, remove all sources of moisture, dispose of all leftover food and take out the trash. When it comes to getting rid of maggots and all other kitchen pests, this is the most critical step you can take.

If you see maggots in your garage or basement, clean the area thoroughly by sweeping and mopping. Remove all rotting waste and immediately place it outside the home in a bin with a tight-fitting lid.

If the maggots are mostly outside, clean up fly infestations, such as spoiled dog food, dropped food, pet droppings, and other debris.

2. Taste the salt

Worms need water to grow and survive, and salt naturally dehydrates things.

Use large amounts of salt to kill pests by dehydrating them. When the worms die, put them in a plastic bag and throw them away.

Be sure to clean the affected area thoroughly!

3. Pour boiling water

If you have worms in a garbage can or garbage can, boil some water and pour it into the can or garbage can (if the worms got in there).

You may need to use this method several times to make sure all the worms are dead.

4. Sprinkle with diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that is used in various things around the house. This is an effective strategy for removing maggots from carpets and other similar fibrous materials.

Apply enough to the worms to cover them completely. The dust sticks to their bodies, causing the exoskeletons to dehydrate and eventually kill them

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Place the dead worms in a plastic bag and throw them away. Then clean the area well.

5. Use white vinegar

Worms cannot survive in vinegar because of the vinegar's acidity.

Make a solution by adding one part vinegar to three parts water, then pour the mixture directly onto the worms.

Let the mixture sit for about an hour, then remove the maggots and clean the area.

How to get rid of worms outdoors

If worms are attacking your outdoor crops, here are a few things you can do to get rid of them:

1. Disinfect your garden

After harvesting the crop in the spring, remove or destroy dirt and debris left in the field. It is important to get rid of the destruction before the appearance of a new crop in the season.

2. Change of seed

Rotate crops to control worm populations. The worms remain in the soil after the season is over, so it's crucial to replant the area with something that won't encourage them and the flies to breed.

Rotate plants such as radishes, broccoli, onions, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage and radishes as far away from their previous locations as possible.

It is best to move them to a completely separate part of the garden, but this is not always possible in the yard. Plants such as beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons and squash are safer to grow in pest-infested areas.

In general, crop rotation is a best practice for gardens because it helps deter a number of plant-specific pests that can affect many different types of crops.

If you move crops away from the areas where the worms thrive, you may find that other crops also produce significantly better yields.

3. Plant more tolerant varieties

If possible, plant bollworm resistant varieties to avoid this problem as much as possible. Unfortunately, we do not have varieties that are resistant to crops like onions.

4. Use sticky traps

Yellow sticky cards can be used as a monitoring tool to assess the extent of pest infestation in a field. They can also be used as a control measure to reduce the number of adults before spawning, helping to prevent further infestations.

5. Use line caps

If row cover is used for transplanting at planting, egg production will be significantly reduced. Cover the beds with floating row covers immediately after planting to prevent pests.

Make sure the cover extends at least 6 inches beyond the seed rows on all sides. The cover can be removed when the plant is large enough to be damaged.

How to prevent worms

Now that you know how to get rid of worms, it's also important to find out how to prevent them in the first place.

Home kitchens, garages, yards and even restaurants can attract worms if basic hygiene standards are not followed. The following steps should be taken regularly to avoid further worm infestations:

  • Clean all work surfaces and bathroom counters.
  • Wipe down all surfaces and floors with an antibacterial cleaner.
  • All food must be stored in hermetically sealed containers.
  • When putting pet food outside, cover the container to keep out flies and make sure to dispose of spoiled food quickly.
  • If you have compost in your garden, cover or seal it to keep flies out.
  • Close your trash bags and bins tightly so nothing can grow or get inside.
  • To reduce the number of flying insects, seal all cracks and crevices that could allow them to enter your home.

Download our infographic on how to get rid of worms:

Billing Credit: Natural Planet.

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Melissa Pino

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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener and regular contributor to Planet Natural. Melissa's work is focused on promoting environmentally friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall well-being.

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    • pesticide
    • weeds
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