The extensive channelling and burrowing by earthworms loosens and aerates the soil and improves soil drainage. Soils with earthworms drain up to 10 times faster than soils without earthworms. In zero-till soils, where worm populations are high, water infiltration can be up to 6 times greater than in cultivated soils.
Food such as soil enters the earthworm’s mouth where it is swallowed by the pharynx. The gizzard uses stones that the earthworm eats to grind the food completely. The food moves into the intestines as gland cells in the intestine release fluids to aid in the digestive process.
Leftover soil particles and undigested organic matter pass out of the worm through the rectum and anus in the form of castings, or worm poop. Worm poop is dark, moist, soil -colored, and very rich in nutrients. That’s why farmers and gardeners like to have lots of worms in their soil.
“The earthworms are in the soil because the soil is healthy,” he says. “They are not necessarily doing anything for it.” And though they can be helpful for breaking up compacted soils and breaking down organic matter, worms can also cause trouble in agricultural fields.
Earthworms are known as farmers ‘ best friends because of the multitude of services they provide that improve soil health and consequently plant health. The soil, in addition to being the habitat for crops, also nurtures other organisms, some of which can cause devastating diseases to plants.
To survive, earthworms need moist soils that have sufficient residue or organic matter for food. They improve soil structure, water movement, nutrient cycling and plant growth. They are not the only indicators of healthy soil systems, but their presence is usually an indicator of a healthy system.
It in no way depicts the image of a human heart. But the worms ‘ hearts do not fill up with blood the way humans do, they just squeeze the two blood vessels which help to circulate the blood through out the body. Check out the illustration! You can see the 5 hearts and the two blood vessels, ventral and dorsal.
While segmented worms such as the earthworm and flatworms such as the planarian are both worms they differ in their means of moving from place to place and in their digestive system type. Earthworms have a complete digestive system, one which has two openings, the mouth and the anus.
Worms reproduce by rubbing up against each other exchanging sperm which allows them to produce cocoons. These cocoons can contain as many as 3-4 worms each and can hatch anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months depending on conditions.
Dog poo doesn’t go into the regular worm farm; it needs to go in a separate one. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, if worms have the choice between dog poo and banana peels and avocado, they are not going to be choosing eating dog poo.
One way to become infected with intestinal worms is eating undercooked meat from an infected animal, such as a cow, pig, or fish. Other possible causes leading to intestinal worm infection include: consumption of contaminated water.
Vermicast (also called worm castings, worm humus, worm manure, or worm faeces) is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms.
But they don’t like: Strong flavours – such as citrus, pineapples, chili, onions, garlic or shallots. Meat, chicken or fish – earthworms are vegetarians! Chemicals, oil or pesticides – which make them sick.
“Pathogens that we already know can be carried by worms include E. coli O157 and salmonella. These bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal infections in humans and are commonly found in soil.
Normally, earthworms aren’t harmful to plants. On the contrary, they’re beneficial, aerating the soil through their tunnels and enriching it with their castings.