Now comes word from the green industry enewsletter GMPRO greEn-MAIL (October 24, 2006 issue) that reported:
Worms may help disperse weed seed
Researchers at Ohio St. Univ. are studying the role earthworms play in the collection and dispersal of weed seed. One weed in particular, giant ragweed, may benefit from the behavior of earthworms and explain why the weed has been labeled one of the most stubborn weeds in Ohio to control. OSU weed scientist Emilie Regnier found that earthworms were collecting seed around their burrows. Although earthworms will collect other weed seeds, giant ragweed seed seems to be a favorite. Regnier said about two-thirds of ragweed seeds buried by earthworms are capable of producing viable seedlings. Earthworms previously have been known to disperse small weed seeds by ingesting them and then ejecting the seeds in their casts."
That's just great. Here I am encouraging these little gross things to take over my garden and now I find they are responsible for some of my weed problems! Oh yeah, and "casts"?! Just say "worm poop" and stop with the euphemisms.
Kinda like how much I detest Praying Mantids -- I've always found them to be evil, ugly things. I left them alone under the advice of those who said they were "beneficial" and ate "bad" insects. Well, newsflash they have no moral code about protecting your garden plants -- they eat EVERYTHING including beautiful Monarch Butterflies (I have piles of torn off wings to prove it) and Lady Bugs. They also dismember crickets alive one leg at a time. I hear the cricket screams in the shrubs. It is NOT pleasant. I yell at the Praying Mantis, "Just kill it already!" My neighbors have not yet reported me to the authorities, but I know they must wonder...
Okay, back to the worms. So now what do I do with this new finding? Leave them alone or do what I do to the white Japanese Beetle grubs when I come across them in my digging? Which is flick them in the pond for my goldfish or on the sidewalk for the birds to enjoy. Hmm, I'll leave the worms alone for now, but I'll be keeping one eye on them and watching for any suspicious weed seed dispersal.
Photo from: exploreventura.com/blog - no worms would come forward to cooperate with this worm expose story. It seems they only pose for photos if the story has a positive worm spin. Reminds me of certain politicians and celebrities.