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Bug of Week 2: Earthworm
Go out and find an earthworm this week!
Find an earthworm by digging in the soil in your garden or yard, then pause and look for any movement.
Please be gentle and respectful to all animals, including insects.
As the spring weather warms the soil, earthworms start to become more active. Worms are important critters in the garden because they increase the amount of water and air in the soil, help break down organic matter like leaves and compost. The slime on their bodies contains nitrogen, an important nutrient for plants.
HABITAT (WHERE THEY LIVE): The earthworm or its relatives can be found in nearly every type of habitat all over the world. Most earthworms live in the top 2-3 feet of soil, where they can find plenty to eat. Some species emerge at night when the ground is wet. They will also dig deeper under the soil during droughts or cold winters.
NUTRITION (WHAT THEY EAT): Earthworms eat organic matter- dead leaves, roots, fruits, and vegetables. This makes them valuable helpers in the garden because their waste is compost, which helps plants grow.
PREDATORS (WHO EATS THEM): Birds, moles, and skunks all enjoy eating worms. Their main defense is burrowing deeper under the soil for protection.
Worm Life Cycle:
Learn more from our friend Herman (also called Hermie the Wormie):