Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Remove Nightcrawlers From Lawn

Nightcrawlers are a species of worm that thrive under many lawns. Most people consider nightcrawlers of benefit to their lawns, but sometimes too much of a good thing can prove to be a problem. If your lawn has too many nightcrawlers and their castings are making the surface of your lawn difficult or uncomfortable to walk on, or making it look unsightly, then you may want to rid your lawn of its nightcrawlers.

Power-rake your lawn to remove all old worm castings.

Thoroughly deep-water your lawn. This could take several hours. Poke into the ground to see how deeply the water has penetrated. You want at least the top 3 inches of the ground saturated.

Apply liquid carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide to your entire lawn following the manufacturer's instructions for getting rid of sod webworms (nightcrawlers are not specifically mentioned but they will be killed). Apply the insecticide in the evenings for best results, as worms tend to come to the surface of the lawn in the cooler hours of the night.

Do not water your lawn for at least 3 days following the application of the insecticide.

Check your lawn for new worm castings after two weeks. If new worm castings have appeared then repeat steps 2 through 4.

Rid Of Nightcrawlers

Nightcrawlers, also known as Lumbricus terrestris, are a kind of worm commonly found in gardens and yards. These worms prefer moist, cool conditions. The worms are called nightcrawlers because they typically come out at night when temperatures are cooler. Create a mixture of soap and warm water. Place about 1/4 cup of soap into a 5 gallon bucket. You can usually tell if there are a lot of worms there because the ground will be uneven and the grass or plants may be yellowed. Wait several minutes for the worms to surface. Pull the worms out of the ground by hand and place them in a bucket. This method is best for smaller concentrations of worms. Spread grub insecticide granules on the lawn in April and in October. This should take about 30 minutes to an hour of watering. Roll the lawn with the one-third full ballast roller while the lawn is still wet.


Follow all manufacturer's instructions when applying liquid carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide. Do not apply in high wind conditions.

Garden Guides