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How To Catch Or Gather Worms

nightcrawlers how to find wormsIf you’re a fisherman, then you are in constant need of worms. While running to the local grocery store or gas station is an option, it isn’t always the most convenient or the cheapest!

We have some alternative suggestions for you to try. It doesn’t take much time at all and it requires just a few things that you most likely already have laying around the house! You don’t need any special traps, bait or even a permit!
If you aren’t a fisherman, no worries, worms are still fun to gather and they serve other purposes too.

Cardboard Boxes Method

Probably the easiest way to gather earthworms is to simply leave a flattened, wet piece of cardboard out in the yard overnight. This will attract the worms to the surface (for several reasons) and when you remove the cardboard, there will be loads of worms!

Rainstorm Method

During a rainstorm (or after), go out at dark and use a flashlight to locate nightcrawlers that are out roaming around. Earthworms like to surface when it’s wet out to take advantage of the wet conditions for traveling! Since worms must stay moist to survive, and since they are able to travel easier and farther distances above ground, worms prefer to surface when the sun is down and after a good rain storm. If you aren’t able to find many, use a shovel to dig into the ground. Then use your hands to break apart the wet soil and so that you can locate the worms. If rain isn’t in the forecast, try going out in the early morning after the sprinklers have shut off and troll around to see what you can find!

Digging Method

If there is a perennial strem nearby with fallen leaves around it, that is an excellent place to dig for worms. They are often found near bodies of water in the mud. Another good place to try is underneath anything that is damp or moist such as logs, rocks and rotten stuff! Worms are sensitive to vibration so the sneakier you are, the more you’ll gather.

What NOT To Do

We do not suggest using soapy water to harvest worms from you lawn as it can ruin your lawn on a hot, sunny day or kill delicate plants in your yard. Some have used a 6v or 12v battery and shocked the worms out from the ground. This is obviously not the best way to gather earthworms as the shock can damage their nervous system and they will die sooner. Remember, healthy worms are happy worms. For fishing, you want the worms to continue to wiggle even after you cast them out into the water so take care of them! For vermicomposting, they will not be productive unless they are out of the heat, kept moist and comfortable and fed regularly.

How To Store The Worms?

All you need to store the little wigglers is a small styrofoam cooler, some dirt, some bedding and some organic food waste. Some people sprinkle a little corn meal from time to time and that keeps the worms healthy and happy short term. For long term worm storage, we suggest building a dedicated worm farm or buying a Worm Farm Kit from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm! We make it extremely easy to maintain the worm farm and provide loads of helpful tips in our blog!
Hopefully this gives you a few different ideas to try the next time you need worms after closing hours or if you’re feeling too lazy to get in the car and drive several miles to the nearest worm dealer!
Of course, with a few clicks of the mouse, we can ship Night Crawlers right to you!


19 comments on “How To Catch Or Gather Worms

  • Most range in size from the head of a pin to a small pea. They are the same coloir as your skin and have growths that look like threads sticking out of
    them. Using liquid nitrogen, they will freeze the warts until it
    either drops off or they are able to cut it off.

  • Though harmless, they are one off the most
    irksome and disgusting pests out there. Roaches like to eat wood and will often live under wet piles of mulch, soo cleaning them up is a good preventative.
    First Steps to Roach Control – The absolute first thging most people
    will tell you is to lay out some stticky traps, they are just
    like the ones you find for mice.

    • Look under big flat rocks and try hunting at night or after a medium to heavy rainstorm.
      The saying is true, the early bird catches the worm. Try just at sunrise and look under rocks or debris. They will be pretty fast, so try to have one hand gloved for moving things and another bare to gently snatch them up.

  • I have been told (old wive’s tale ?) that nitecrawlers picked up on blacktop/asphalt will die, they pick up oil from those surfaces, true or false?

  • Daryl sterrett says:

    I live here in Florida where it’s almost all sand do you have to have dirt or will worms get in the sand how can I create bed for worms with gray sand

  • They cannot survive without organic material. Use decaying leaves or multch or shredded newspaper. FLORIDA HAS MORE THAT SAND. YOU CAN BUY SOME COCONUT coir which makes a good moist bedding. Sand compacts too much and is abrasive. No earthworm will be happy in sand. You need EARTH.

  • True. They all die sometime. But crawling across asphalt when wet doesn’t kill. It the tar isn’t cured and the surface is hot, they can die

  • They cannot survive without organic material. Use decaying leaves or mulch or shredded newspaper. FLORIDA HAS MORE THAN SAND. YOU CAN BUY SOME COCONUT coir which makes a good moist bedding. Sand compacts too much and is abrasive. No earthworm will be happy in sand. You need EARTH.

  • Awuor Zakayo says:

    I live in Kenya but its true that worms does well in wet area and my suprise is that can they be kept in a container?

  • Mulch pile, or under a pile of wet leaves is always a good spot to look. Bring something to put them in. Take a little of the soil or mulch and put it in the can , add your worms. And yes, you can dig for the big earth worms as well.

  • Mow your lawn in afternoon then wet down with hose at dark they will be all over your yard walk softly & don’t point flashlight directly at them! Sneaky like


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