Horsehair worm or snake

Asked May 15, 2016, 2:19 PM EDT

Seem to have quite a few of these in my flower garden and now noticing them in my vegetable garden. Was wondering how harmful they were to my flower garden vegetable garden my dog are my small children and if so can you do any preventive maintenance on them

Lincoln County Oregon

1 Response

Several kinds of horsehair worms live here in the northwest. They are parasitoids which help manage certain insects, both aquatic and land dwelling species. Unfortunately, these creatures are so few in number that their contribution to pest management is minimal. On the other hand, there’s no need to eradicate them because they’re not harmful; they don’t affect plants, people, or pets.

See “Horsehair Worms” (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7471.html) and “Mermis nigrescens” (http://www.biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/pathogens/Mermis.php)