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If there are small heaps of earth on the well-kept lawn or if larger, dark spots appear, then these can be not only ants but also earthworms or lawnworms. If earthworms are basically an enrichment for the garden soil, lawn or meadow worms are always harmful. In the following article we took a closer look at the two different types of worms.


lawn worms

Lawn worms, also known as meadow worms, are the larvae of the meadow crane, which are also known as tipula larvae. These are small worms, up to 4 cm in size, which can severely damage the lawn in the event of a mass infestation. The worms also have the following characteristics:

  • cylindrical
  • grey-brown
  • live in the turf
  • cannot be seen with the naked eye
  • nocturnal
Cranefly, Tipulidae

damage picture

If the meadow gnat has laid its eggs on the meadow in September, the lawn worms hatch about six weeks later. However, the actual damage only becomes apparent in April and May of the following year, since the worms only become really active then. Here's what happens:

  • Grasses are eaten close to the ground
  • the roots are also damaged
  • the surface is dying
  • there are large, round holes in the lawn


If the lawn was infested by the meadow cranefly, they come back every year to lay their eggs. Therefore, the larvae must be fought, otherwise the lawn cannot be saved. However, a regularly maintained lawn usually has sufficient resistance, so the following care is essential to prevent lawn worm larvae from being weaned in the first place:

  • lime regularly
  • scarify
  • Treat the lawn with a spiked roller

If the lawn was infested anyway, then you can nematodes used against meadow worms. The nematodes, which are added to the lawn soil with the irrigation water, feed on the larvae. If they are no longer supplied with food, they die by themselves. Another method is to lure the lawnworms out of the sod with a mixture of sugar and wet wheat bran. If the larvae leave the shelter, they can be collected.


Everyone knows about earthworms. These are limb or annelid worms, of which there are around 3,000 different species worldwide. In the local latitudes, the common earthworm or dewworm is particularly well known. This has the following properties:

  • about 9 to 15 cm long
  • can grow up to 30 cm long in exceptional cases
  • About a centimeter thick
  • white, brown or gray color
  • along the body are ringlets
  • Sunlight dries the animals
  • therefore live in the ground
  • appear in rain and humid weather
  • form small heaps of earth
  • this is feces

Because the animals spend most of their life phases in the garden soil, they loosen it up underground. The small heaps of earth are formed at the entry holes.

damage picture

There is actually no real damage to be seen on the lawn itself. Because the worms feed on already dead and rotten plant parts. They clear up the ground around the turf, so to speak. However, many hobby gardeners find the mounds of earth that are created on the manicured lawn to be bothersome than to see the benefit of the animals. Because this is not a real bad picture. So the worms and the little heaps have the following To use:

  • Earth is naturally recycled
  • worm castings are produced
  • this supplies the earth with new nutrients
  • Lawn becomes lush green and strong in summer

Remove piles of dirt

If you are bothered by the many piles of earth on your smooth lawn, you can definitely remove them. Because the heaps of earth are the droppings of the worms, but with many nutrients enriched for the soil. The heaps in the meadow can be removed as follows:

  • lift off with a small shovel
  • use as fertilizer for other garden beds
  • scarify the lawn
  • so small heaps are flattened by themselves
The heaps of earth are the faeces of the worms.

Hobby gardeners with a natural garden and a meadow instead of a well-kept English lawn will be happy about small mounds of earth in the meadow and leave them there.

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