NWRC scientists at the Sandusky, OH, field station are evaluating the use of physical and chemical barriers to prevent earthworms from moving onto runways where they would be attractive to foraging birds. One method being studied is the use of fertilizers that earthworms find chemically irritating. Fertilizers can also alter soil pH which can drive worms away from the affected area. Another barrier being tested is recycled glass or remnants from coal burning facilities crushed to the size of large, sharp sand particles. When placed on the soil surface the materials creates an abrasive, dry, and acidic layer that earthworms avoid.
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