I have heard about people using electricity to catch worms, mostly around catching worms for fishing.

How does this work?

Is it safe?


1 Answer 1


Had a neighbor who used this technique to get worms all the time. It was amazing how well this system really works. He used a system where he had several car batteries rigged onto a dolly and thus was able to get his worms away from any buildings.

He always caught his worms at night with a flashlight in hand. After putting the two metal rods into the ground, one simply had to wait a few minutes for the worms to come to the surface.

I cannot recall any of us ever getting electrocuted doing this with him, but was it ever a time saver.

One draw back to this method is that the worms seemed to have a shorter life expectancy (I cannot recall how long they generally lived for, perhaps a week or so).

Here is how others do it:

Worms will leave the ground in droves if anything disturbs them. Traditional methods of getting worms include fiddling a stick to send vibrations into the ground, waiting for the rain and even pouring mustard into the ground to irritate the worms. Electricity is a bit more dangerous than any of these alternatives, but as long as you don't plug it in when anyone is nearby, you shouldn't have any problems. The electric current will send the worms scurrying to the surface, where you can pick them up for fishing bait.

Step 1 Cut the receptor or "female" end off an extension cord.

Step 2 Separate the two wires for 4 to 5 feet. Depending on the configuration of the extension cord, they will either be wrapped in insulation side by side or one will be insulated and the other wrapped around the inner one. If the outer is wrapped around the inner, unwrap it and then wrap it in electrical tape.

Step 3 Trim the last 2 inches of insulation from each wire.

Step 4 Unbend two wire clothes hangers into straight rods. Wrap the end of one wire around one clothes hanger and the end of the other wire around the second hanger. Tape the wire to the clothes hangers with electrical tape.

Step 5 Water your lawn. If it has rained in the last day, you don't need to water.

Step 6 Stick the two wires into the ground about 2 to 4 feet apart.

Step 7 Get all people and pets off the lawn. Plug in the extension cord and leave it plugged in for 5 to 10 minutes. Unplug it.

Step 8 Gather worms off the ground. They should be between and around the wires.

How do I Use Electricity to Force Fishing Worms Out of the Soil?

  • 3
    "Several car batteries" won't electrocute you. An extension cord plugged into mains power certainly can. Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 12:40
  • @PeteBecker Never said It would not electrocute us, but that we never did get electrocuted.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 12:46
  • 2
    I think you missed my point: a few car batteries (4 or 5, i.e., around 50-60 volts) won't electrocute you. They don't have enough voltage to drive a harmful current through you. Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 12:51
  • 1
    One of several examples - it's not the volts that'll kill you, but the amps Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 16:25
  • By the time you've linked 4 car batteries together you've got enough voltage that, in the USA at least, regulations require shielding to prevent direct contact with conductive areas. And it would deliver more than 300 amps.... In a wet area...
    – That Idiot
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 18:32

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