Thursday, January 21, 2010

Earthworms Deflect Bowls

I had an interesting question from a Mitre10 store today. One of the staff called with a question from a customer; How do they get rid of worms from a bowling green?
The lady from Mitre10 was correct that earthworms are usually regarded as the friend of good grass. After all, earthworms condition soil by aerating and fertilizing as they eat their way through the ground. But for the bowls club the earthworms damage the flat surface of their manicured green, both by undermining the surface and creating worm casts. The worm casts in particular would be liable to seriously influence the direction of a bowl. The bowls club also pay great attention to the condition of the soil under their green. They aerate, fertilize and condition the green directly so losing the worms is not an issue for soil condition.
The answer the Mitre 10 query was that the Kiwicare insecticide Carbaryl Insect Control (aka NO Insects Carbaryl 80) can be used to get rid of earthworms. Carbaryl is highly toxic to worms and we usually advise users to avoid using it on soil, but in this case, and others where worms are a pest, it is an effective control method.

Earthworms are good.....except when they deflect your bowls.

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