5 Proven Ways to Catch Nightcrawlers (with Video)

Many people love catching nightcrawlers for using them as fishing baits, while others catch them for selling them. Here are 4 methods to catch them:


Red Light

Go out at night with a red flashlight and collect them. The are called night crawlers because they do. Look in your lawn area and get them before the birds do.

Use Water 

Your lawn is the most favorite place of the nightcrawlers to reside in your house. That is why coaxing them out with water is so easy if you have a lawn. Nightcrawlers do not love staying in dry areas, and that is why you see so many of them during rainfall. 

An easy way to bring them out in the open from the grounds of your front yard is by watering your entire lawn. Try soaking your lawn throughout the day so that the nightcrawlers come out during the night. You will have no problem catching them from your front yard during the night if you manage to stay quiet. 


Using Car Batteries 

Nightcrawlers or any worm loathe the idea of being electrocuted. After all, they are also living beings. That is why one of the easiest ways of catching them is by electrocuting them using car batteries. 

The process can seem a bit difficult, but trust us, it is not that troublesome. By pounding metal rods of 2 to 3 feet in length in the ground and using jumper cables with jumper grips, you will be able to prepare for the electrocution stage easily. The next step is pretty easy, as you only have to attach the cables to the metal rods in the ground. Soon, you will see all the nightcrawlers crawling out of the ground. As they will already be weakened, you will be able to capture them at that moment pretty easily. 


Dig up Soil

Using a shovel scoop up some soil, then gently spread the soil and you should find many there.


Using Soap

Soaps can help you in catching worms at night. Using soaps might be the most convenient way of catching these crawlers of night. For being successful at this process, you will need water, liquid soap, and a bucket. 

The process of coaxing nightcrawlers out of the ground using soap is so easy that you will think, why did you not do this before. Just mix the liquid soap with water in the bucket and put the mixture in the ground. Soon enough, you will start noticing the worms crawling out into the open. Try catching the worms safely and quickly as they tend to get into the ground pretty fast.


Nightcrawlers are one of the common worms in the garden. And as the gardener tends to his vegetables using a hoe, shovel, or trowel, he will come into contact with earthworms. And if you usually work with the soil, then you must have noted the wigging of pinkish or brownish worms found in the typical moist, dark soil. These are the nightcrawler worms.


These worms can go up to 6.5 feet in the soil, but they prefer to live closer to the soil surface. Therefore, meeting one while gardening, either landscaping or playing in the dirt, won’t be hard. They also prefer feeding above the ground at night, which is why they have this name.


Physical Characteristics

On a closer look at the nightcrawler, you’ll notice they are red-gray colored, and they have segments ring-shaped called annuli. Each annulus has tiny bristles covering called setae which are used for slithering, moving, and burrowing into the ground.


They also lack a backbone which makes them invertebrates. They can weigh up to 0.39 oz and up to 14 inches long. On average, a nightcrawler can live for up to six years in the wild. Since they are a type of earthworm, nightcrawlers are responsible for soil aeration. They are beneficial microorganisms in your garden.


How do Nightcrawlers Move

Like other earthworm types, the nightcrawlers expand and contract their body segments to push them through porous soil or along the ground when moving. At times, it can widen and narrow its body when it’s wedging through small spaces.


Also, note that their skin produces a lubricating fluid that makes movement underground easier and ensures the skin remains moist.


Nightcrawlers Food

The nightcrawlers have their mouth on the first segment of their body. They usually burrow and feed on soil. They eat the dirt, which contains decomposing roots, leaves, and other organic wastes. The worms get their nutrients from the soil, and since they feed on plant parts, they are herbivores.


On average, they can feed a third of their body weight and provide food for many fish, rats, birds, toads, and other creatures.


Nightcrawlers and Vermicomposting

If you are interested in nightcrawlers, then you might have heard about vermicomposting. Vermicomposting refers to the recycling of organic wastes via natural forms. You need the nightcrawlers during this process, and they will convert the organic black soil to manure for supplementing your soil and plants.


Types of Nightcrawlers


The European Nightcrawler

There are different species of nightcrawler worms, and this is the most popular type. It can be used for composting, but most gardeners prefer red worms, especially in vermicomposting. They will help aerate and fertilize the soil, making them the best for vermicomposting. Besides, they can also make tunnels by burrowing to ensure the proper flow of air and water into the soil. And if you would like fish bait, then they fit the bill.


The European nightcrawler is also perfect food for those rearing different birds, amphibians, or reptiles.


African Nightcrawler


Besides the African nightcrawler, the European nightcrawler is also a popular commercial worm. It is ideal for both composting and use as fish bait. You will find them in most worm farms and composting farms. They can produce very rich compost, and they have a myriad of other benefits in the garden, such as:


Help in improving the soil structure

Help in breaking down organic wastes into the valuable black soil

They are useful in the vermicomposting process

Helps in soil aeration


Why Nightcrawlers are a favorite as fish bait

For centuries, nightcrawlers have been used by fishermen as fish bait. This is because they have a constant twisting movement which makes them appealing to different species of fish. They are available from bait stores and online form stores.


But if you don’t want to spend some cash, I will advise you to try to catch them in the garden, especially after heavy rainfall. They are helpful for fishing because they can remain submerged for long periods without dying.


Damaged caused by Nightcrawlers


Though they are good for your lawn’s health, they can leave castings material deposits. Their burrow entrances usually have plenty of deposit castings, and over time, they can accumulate and cause many problems at home. Also, the golf courses, athletic fields, and home lawns will be easily made unattractive by these lumps.


Nightcrawlers usually deposit these during early to mid-spring as they’re most active at this time. But during summer and late spring, they won’t be a nuisance as they dig deeper into the soil to avoid the warm weather. Also, after heavy rainfalls, they will usually move away from your lawn. 


Managing Nightcrawlers

Nightcrawlers are beneficial insects since they improve soil aeration and offer other benefits. Therefore, you don’t need to deal with them unless it’s necessary. The control practices can include:


– Washing or sweeping them off the lawn, driveways, or sidewalks

– You can also ignore them as they will move after some time or die or get eaten

– Avoid using pesticides to protect the environment


Nightcrawlers are best for Vermicomposting

If you want to vermicompost in your compound, then I will recommend the European nightcrawlers. They are easy to raise and are fairly tolerant to both heat and cold.