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Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

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Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/5/2014, 10:16 pm

I'd like to buy earthworms for my boxes, and we have plenty of bait and tackle shops around here. But should I be concerned about contamination of parasites if I don't know where the worms came from, or am I just being paranoid? I've had too much trouble with root knot nematodes to carelessly contaminate what I've worked so hard to build.  Rolling Eyes 

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  sanderson on 4/6/2014, 12:15 am

With your local concern, maybe buying them online would ease your concern. Folks here have ordered them that way. They only ship on certain days so the worms don't have to spend forever in the post office.

I think "1,000 worms on the their way" is the topic.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  camprn on 4/6/2014, 7:22 am

Did you happen to ask the bait shop where the worms came from??

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  llama momma on 4/6/2014, 7:52 am

dstack
Your question is great, a real head scratcher, it made me pause and think.  Here's what I have-
I think I read a fair amount of materials on worms. Try to wade through some academic studies too, and honestly I have not yet seen any reports in the past 2 years  where worms introduce parasites or diseases. There are parasites and predators that attack worms but in general worms clean up messes, not make them, in my very limited 2 year experience.   As far as nematodes, I'll bet most people automatically think negatively, yet there are many types of nematodes that are not harmful to the garden.  Press me further and I'd have to excuse myself to go back to find and study those details again!  Wink

I would shop around for prices of worms, I'm amazed to see red worms between 15 and 40 dollars a pound.  I know you mentioned buying earthworms (not redworms) I can't begin to price those for you. Can't say if they are disease or parasite carriers either.

You could check with Rhonda Sherman out of NC state university. http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/people/professionals/sherman/


Last edited by llama momma on 4/6/2014, 8:02 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add rhonda sherman info)

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/6/2014, 8:31 am

@camprn wrote:Did you happen to ask the bait shop where the worms came from??
No, I haven't even gone to a shop yet, but my neighbor gets her's there. She has nematodes.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/6/2014, 8:47 am

@llama momma wrote:dstack
Your question is great, a real head scratcher, it made me pause and think.  Here's what I have-
I think I read a fair amount of materials on worms. Try to wade through some academic studies too, and honestly I have not yet seen any reports in the past 2 years  where worms introduce parasites or diseases. There are parasites and predators that attack worms but in general worms clean up messes, not make them, in my very limited 2 year experience.   As far as nematodes, I'll bet most people automatically think negatively, yet there are many types of nematodes that are not harmful to the garden.  Press me further and I'd have to excuse myself to go back to find and study those details again!  Wink

I would shop around for prices of worms, I'm amazed to see red worms between 15 and 40 dollars a pound.  I know you mentioned buying earthworms (not redworms) I can't begin to price those for you. Can't say if they are disease or parasite carriers either.

You could check with Rhonda Sherman out of NC state university. http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/people/professionals/sherman/
Sorry, I shouldn't have specified earthworms. Do you have a preference, and they're all good, right? Here in S. Florida we have a bountiful supply of worms with legs. Some people insist that these are centepedes. But centepedes are fast and sleek. These are slow moving and live in my compost and soil. They curl up if threatened. In certain times of the year we find a lot of them both in the house and at my work in an office building. I often see an actual centepede in my compost. 

Sorry, I got slightly off-topic. I'm open to trying red worms. I just haven't done thorough research on the topic as you have. I appreciate your thoughtful response.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  llama momma on 4/6/2014, 9:30 am

Oh no you're just fine.  I'd like to help if possible and two, that you're satisfied with your decision.
Red worms are surface dwellers so I'm concerned with your temps in FL killing them off.  There has to be other types that do well in FL type heat perhaps like the Alabama blue worms aka Alabama jumpers.  I'm limited to knowing the name but I don't know much about their habitat preference or nematode concerns.  (btw I question your friends nematode issue was in the soil before the worms were introduced then got blamed for it ??  (yes I'm hoping they are innocent, lol)  
So, I come back to contacting Rhonda Sherman in the above post or ask Bentley Christie from redwormcomposting.com

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/6/2014, 10:21 am

@llama momma wrote:  (btw I question your friends nematode issue was in the soil before the worms were introduced then got blamed for it ??  (yes I'm hoping they are innocent, lol)  
So, I come back to contacting Rhonda Sherman in the above post or ask Bentley Christie from redwormcomposting.com
Right, no one was blamed, and my neighbor and I never disgusted where the contamination came from. But when she mentioned where she got the worms, and I wondered if that's where the contamination came from.  Smile 

I'll let you know if I get an answer from Sherman or Christie.

Thanks Llama mamma!

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Papaya photos

Post  dstack on 4/6/2014, 10:31 am

Taken this morning... 



She's the tall one...


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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  llama momma on 4/6/2014, 11:09 am

@dstack wrote:

I'll let you know if I get an answer from Sherman or Christie.

Thanks Llama mamma!

dstack You're very welcome.  Hope you get a quick response, and yes I'd love to know what they advised.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/6/2014, 1:34 pm

Dstack - she is beautiful! You have brought her back from the brink of death!

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/6/2014, 2:04 pm

That was a good save, look how healthy your plant is!

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/8/2014, 9:18 pm

@llama momma wrote:
So, I come back to contacting Rhonda Sherman in the above post or ask Bentley Christie from redwormcomposting.com
   
I heard from both of them. Rhonda referred me to a nematologist. And Bentley had this to say...
"I would probably be more concerned with getting the wrong worms when shopping at a bait shop. There really aren't any known "parasites" to speak of. I guess there is always the chance that other harmful organisms could end up in the bedding, but there's probably more of a risk with potted plants than with worms from a bait shop."

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  llama momma on 4/8/2014, 10:37 pm

I'm glad you received fast responses from both Bentley and Rhonda. If you choose to purchase from FL sources I found this list the other day of worm suppliers somewhere on Rhonda's web site and put it on the sfg forum too.  Maybe these places have supervisors or managers that could address your nematode concern too.  I'm curious as to what you decide to do and how it all works out.  Please keep in touch.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t17601-florida-worm-sources?highlight=Forida+worm+suppliers

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/8/2014, 10:57 pm

Flatworms aren't parasites, but they are earthworm predators. No idea the likelihood of getting them from a bait shop.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  ETNRedClay on 4/9/2014, 5:55 pm

I bought a $3 tub of Red Wigglers at Wal-mart last year and dumped it in my 4'x8' potato bed.  There were 30 worms skinnier than a number 2 pencil.  When I dug the potatoes in the fall, each FORK had 30 worms that were bigger than my thumb.  Delightfully disgusting.

Only saw Night Crawlers at WM this spring.  Bought 2 tubs of those and dumped one in the new potato bed (rotated crops) and one in the pepper bed.  The old potato bed is a bean bed this year -- adding compost and mixing was another delightfully disgusting chore since there were so many of those little buggers in there still.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  sanderson on 4/9/2014, 9:15 pm

Delightfully disgusting. BB\'s happy face    Only a gardener could describe it like that!  Very Happy

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  mollyhespra on 4/9/2014, 9:59 pm

I realize that your question was about introducing bad stuff into your soil from the bait & tackle shop earthworms, but in the same spirit that I think sparked your question (concern) I'd like to just mention that some earthworms are considered highly invasive and can do significant damage when inadvertently introduced in a new area. 

invasive earthworms

Being a South Florida native myself, I doubt there's any soil left in the State that hasn't already been exposed to every earthworm species, whether native or invasive, known to have ever been sold in a bait shop, but since folks in other areas may read your post I think it advisable to be informed about the dangers of releasing bait/tackle or any kind of earthworms willy-nilly into your soil. 

When I first read about this issue a few years back it really disturbed me.  And it seemed that many earthworms had been introduced by well-intentioned fishermen who just dumped their unused worms into the soil around streams thinking they were doing a good thing.

It's not too far-fetched to imagine a similar thing happening with a well-intentioned gardener inadvertently introducing a new species of bait earthworm into their garden without realizing the potential damage that doing so may cause to the larger ecosystem.

So in the end, my advice is this: do some research on what's considered native vs. invasive and stick with the natives if at all possible, even if it means spending more $ or waiting for them to arrive in the mail. 

The invasives of any species usually get by quite well without our helping them on.

P.S.  That papaya is looking GREAT!!!

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  llama momma on 4/10/2014, 5:28 am

This is a discussion on invasive species with supporting literature.  The current bottom line from this article regarding red worms E. Fetida,  is they are not feared as an invasive species.  Other species are discussed too, and like many topics of research the studies are ongoing. 

 http://www.redwormcomposting.com/?s=invasive+worms

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/10/2014, 7:17 am

@mollyhespra wrote:I realize that your question was about introducing bad stuff into your soil from the bait & tackle shop earthworms, but in the same spirit that I think sparked your question (concern) I'd like to just mention that some earthworms are considered highly invasive and can do significant damage when inadvertently introduced in a new area....

The invasives of any species usually get by quite well without our helping them on.

P.S.  That papaya is looking GREAT!!!
Thanks for the reminder on invasive species. That pretty much settles my decision about using bait/tackle shops for a source. 

I don't know if you saw the story of what that papaya plant has been through. Basically it was contaminated by muriatic acid from my neighbor's pool acid wash. I rinsed off the roots and potted it. She's recovering well! Fortunately muriatic acid doesn't accumulated in the food chain.  Very Happy

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millipedes

Post  dstack on 4/10/2014, 7:27 am

Btw, I learned that those "worms" with legs that we have an abundance of (I mentioned earlier in this thread) are millipedes. 



I have them in my compost, my soil, and occasionally in my house and office. Did some research on these and they are mostly beneficial. My only issue with them is that they occasionally eat my young seedlings. But now I may start my seedlings in a more protective area.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/10/2014, 8:42 am

I talked w/ a friend who works as a bug person w/ the US Forestry Service.  She recommends checking w/ your local Extension Service agent from their lawn & garden section (if they are that compartmentalized).

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2014, 1:59 pm

dstack, I sent you a PM.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  dstack on 4/10/2014, 3:13 pm

@sanderson wrote:dstack, I sent you a PM.
Huh! I don't have any new messages. The last one I have is from December.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2014, 4:07 pm

Maybe your Inbox is full??  Dec is a long time. Each message is 2% if the room.

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Re: Anyone buy earthworms from bait/tackle shops?

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