How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil

White worms in soil are a common issue for gardeners and should not be left unchecked. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of white worms in soil to preserve your soil.

We will also explore the various types of white worms that can be found in the soil, their origins, whether they are beneficial or harmful, and how to prevent them from entering your soil.


What are White Worms?

How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil
White worms in Potted soil

White worms, also called potworms, are tiny, white, worm-like creatures commonly seen in soil.

Most people often mistake them for insect larvae, but they’re actually part of the Enchytraeidae family, related to earthworms.

These worms come in different sizes and behaviors but share similar traits. They help break down organic matter in the soil, enriching it and supplying plants with nutrients.


Types of White Worms that can be found in Soil

Potworms, grubworms, and nematodes are three common types of worms found in soil, each with unique characteristics and roles in the environment.

  • Potworms:
How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil
Pot Worms

Potworms, also called white worms or enchytraeids, are small, white worms similar to earthworms.

They’re usually found in soils rich in organic matter, like compost or decaying plants.

Potworms help break down organic matter, aiding in decomposition and nutrient recycling. They’re good for soil and plant health.


  • Grub Worms:
How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil
White chafer grub

Grub worms are the larvae of beetles such as Japanese beetles or June beetles.

They’re white, and C-shaped, and their size depends on the beetle species.

Grub worms feed on grass and plant roots, which can harm lawns and gardens. They like soil that’s moist and has lots of organic material.


  • Nematodes:
How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil

Nematodes, or roundworms, are tiny worms living in soil.

Some nematodes are helpful and break down organic matter, but others are harmful parasites that attack plant roots.

Parasitic nematodes can cause plants to grow poorly, wilt, and produce fewer crops. They’re found worldwide in warm, moist places.


Where Do These White Worms Come From?

White worms in the soil can come from different places.

They’re often brought into the soil through organic matter like compost, mulch, or decaying plants, which they like.

Insects, animals, or contaminated soil can also carry these worms into the soil.

White worms can multiply quickly in the right conditions, which adds to their numbers in the soil.


Read also: A Fascinating Guide for the World of Worm Nerds


Is Whiteworm in the soil beneficial?

Yes, white worms in the soil can be helpful.

They assist in breaking down organic matter, like dead plants, and releasing nutrients into the soil.

This breakdown process, called decomposition, is necessary for soil health and the cycling of nutrients.

Moreover, white worms aid in soil aeration by digging tunnels, enhancing soil structure, and enabling plant roots to grow more effectively.


Will White Worms Kill My Plants?

White worms usually do not harm plants and are not known to kill them.

They can actually be good for plants by helping break down organic matter and making the soil better.

However, if there are too many white worms, they might start eating plant roots or making tunnels that can disturb the roots.

Just keep an eye on their numbers and take steps to control them if they get too many.


Other worms that can be found in Soil

There are several other types of worms that can be found in soil, each with its characteristics and roles in the ecosystem.

  • Earthworms:

Earthworms are probably the most familiar type of soil worm. They’re good for the soil because they tunnel through it, which helps air and water get to plant roots. They also break down dead plants, releasing nutrients that plants need.

  • Redworms:

Redworms, also called red wigglers, are another type of soil worm. They’re often used in composting to break down kitchen scraps. Like earthworms, they improve soil and help with nutrient cycling.

  • Nightcrawlers

Nightcrawlers are larger worms that dig deep burrows in the soil. They mix up the layers of soil and bring nutrients closer to the surface. Nightcrawlers are food for many animals, like birds and small mammals

  • Flatworms

Flatworms are flat and look like ribbons. They’re often found in moist soil or leaf litter. Some flatworms eat other soil organisms, while others eat dead plants.

  • Threadworms

Threadworms are tiny, thread-like worms found in soil. They live near plant roots, where they eat organic matter and help break down soil, making nutrients easier for plants to absorb.


How to Get Rid of White Worms in Soil

To get rid of white worms in the soil, you can try a few different methods, whether natural or chemical. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Since white worms like places with lots of organic material, like decaying plants, cleaning up excess organic matter can help reduce their numbers.

  2. Keep the soil dry, white worms prefer moist soil, so improving drainage and reducing how much you water the plants can make the soil less inviting for them.

  3. You can apply useful beneficial nematodes to the soil that can infect and kill white worms,  to help get rid of the worms.

  4. Another method that works is sprinkling of diatomaceous earth, a natural insecticide, on the soil. It helps control white worms.

  5. If the above methods mentioned are not working, you can use chemical insecticides labeled for white worms. Just be careful, as these can also harm helpful soil organisms.


Read also: How To Get Rid Of Green Algae On Soil


More on How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Soil

Watch the video below for more information on white worms, and how you can get rid of them.



In conclusion, white worms in soil can be a nuisance, but they are not necessarily harmful to your plants.

Understanding the types of white worms that can be found in soil, their origins, and how to control them, will help you keep your garden healthy and thriving.


About The Author

Discover more from Pestclue

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Leave a feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.