Jumping Worms with the Potential to Cause havoc on Wildlife and Plants, Found in Over 30 States


Recent sightings in Connecticut have revealed the existence of a species known as jumping earthworms. 

These worms, known for their milky-colored neckbands and erratic movement, have several nicknames, including crazy worms, crazy snake worms, Georgia or Alabama jumpers, Jersey wigglers, wood alves and sharks of the earth, according toConnecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES)..

These earthworms, most commonly known as jumping worms, have the potential to cause damage to plants, forests and wildlife, According to Science News.

According to the CAES, the worms pose a threat to the soil animal communities, having the potential to negatively impact millipedes, salamanders and ground-nesting birds.

According to the organization jumping worms can cause 50% more greenhouse gases from the soil, which could threaten the extinction of local plants.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural ResourcesThe worms don’t actually jump but their name comes from how they whip their bodies when they are disturbed.

In addition their ability to climb, they can destabilize the soil and make it harder for some plants to grow, Gale Ridge, a member of the entomology department at the CAES, told Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Worms can also accumulate toxic elements like lead and mercury. Because the worms are often used as bait, these toxic materials can then be eaten by fish, birds and other animals.

“These are earthworms on steroids,”Ridge spoke to the news organization.

According to NBC ConnecticutThe worms were brought in from Japan in the 1940s to be fed by platypuses at Bronx Zoo. They can now be seen in more than 30 states.

The department of resources says in addition to their use as bait, the earthworms are mainly spread mostly through the transport of mulch, compost and potted plants.

Ridge advised that you don’t buy worms from the internet and that you never purchase compost or mulch unless it can be proven that it has been heat-treated at 105 to 131 degrees for at minimum three days.

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