Attention, fall gardeners! While earthworms are usually a welcome sight in your garden, not all earthworms are alike. Jumping worms, sometimes known as “crazy worms,” are an invasive species native to Asia that are being found increasingly in many parts of New York State.
Jumping worms primarily stay in the top layer of soil, leaching nutrients and turning topsoil into a texture similar to coffee grounds. This makes it difficult for many plants to grow, including garden plants, trees, and lawns. You can tell the difference between a jumping worm and a less destructive European earthworm by examining the worm’s collar (clitellum). Jumping worms have a collar that is milky-white, relatively close to the head and flush with their bodies.
Here’s how you can help prevent the spread of jumping worms: