We all expect to find earthworms burrowing through our garden soil, but seeing them wriggling around on the floor of our basement or bathroom is another matter entirely. When this happens, our first instinct is to pick the harmless little buggers up and get them outside where they belong, but our second instinct is to try and understand how they got there to begin with. It’s an unusual circumstance, that much is true. But don’t panic — it’s easy enough to get rid of earthworms in your home.
Why are earthworms in your house to begin with?
Typically, earthworms tend to stay away from surfaces that aren’t soil, but in heavy rain, the soil becomes so sodden that the worms’ burrows fill with water, threatening to drown and suffocate the creepy crawlers. In these cases, according to ThriftyFun, worms will seek out higher and drier ground. If your house’s foundation happens to be built on a slab or even a partial slab, they might be able to scurry enough to get inside.
How to get rid of earthworms in your home:
The places you’re likely to find earthworms are in your bathroom or your basement. If your basement is unfinished or only partially finished, the chances of finding earthworm interlopers goes up. If you have live earthworms, do yourself a favor: scoop them up and bring them out to your garden. Earthworms aerate the soil, and their excrement contains nutrients that many garden plants like. There’s no sense in wasting good, hard-working fertilizers.
The next step, according to Premend Services, is to clean every square inch of the infested area. You can use eco-friendly cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, but if you want something a little stronger, try chlorine-free bleach. The bleach will also ensure that any worm larvae is eradicated. In the bathroom, you’ll want to make sure drains and toilets are especially clean. A toothbrush is a good tool for getting into really hard-to-reach places.
Premend Services also recommends coating the inside of pipes and drains with petroleum jelly. This will ensure that worms, drain flies, and other wriggly interlopers cannot worm their way into your space. For basements, make sure to sweep, mop, and clean the entire floor, especially if it’s a bare stone or tile floor. Carpets should be shampooed to remove all traces of larvae.
Prevention is key — here's how to keep earthworms out of your home.
According to Hunker, worms love moisture. They thrive in warm, damp environments, like bathrooms and basements. If your home is moist enough to draw them in, even on non-rainy days, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier, at least for the dampest spaces in your home.
Hunker also recommends checking walls, windows, and baseboards for any holes that worms or other insects might be able to crawl through. Any holes that have been left there for drainage purposes should be left alone, but any other unexpected openings should be caulked or sealed shut in some way.
Of all methods for keeping worms out, the most effective is to practice good hygiene. The cleaner a space is, the less likely insects and other bugs will be able to get a foothold. Cleaning your bathroom at least once a week should keep germs, bacteria, and the occasional carpetbagging earthworm at bay.