Jumping worms have started to become a problem in the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas, people are urged to pay attention when digging or gardening.

UMD Professor Ryan Hueffmeier told FOX 9 that you really have to pay attention because at first look they appear to be earthworms, and he went on to say "Because of their ability to clone themselves, just one jumping worm can start a population, which makes them a difficult species to manage,"

He went on to say in the article "These worms live in the top six inches of soil and are voracious eaters of organic materials they turn the topsoil into loose granular soil that can be easily eroded and does not support plant life well."

The University Of Minnesota said on their website that these jumping worms are not native to our state but can be found very easily in the topsoil for people who are gardening and don't realize this species is an evasive worm and can affect their garden and any other topsoil in their yard or woods behind their house.

Professor Ryan Hueffemeier from the University of Minnesota Duluth says they have been found in the St. Cloud area the past few years but could be moving north so he created a presentation that explains how these worms are being brought into gardens, what damage they can do, and how to prevent an infestation.

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The Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources describes perfectly how you should be looking for jumping worms.

Jumping worms, known also as Asian jumping worms, crazy worms, Alabama jumpers and snake worms, are invasive earthworms first found in Wisconsin in 2013. Native to eastern Asia, they present challenges to homeowners, gardeners and forest managers. Jumping worms get their name from their behavior. When handled, they violently thrash, spring into the air and can even shed their tails to escape.

One thing to remember, from the University Of Minnesota Website about jumping worms.

  • Jumping worms live for only one season.
  • They hatch in late spring in 1-4 inches of soil.
  • The worms grow during the summer and the adults start laying eggs in August.
  • It is unknown how many eggs each adult can lay.
  • Eggs are very small but can be identified.
  • Removing eggs is likely impractical.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has more on jumping worm egg identification.

Here is an email and phone to report jumping worms in Minnesota. Report to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Laura.Vanriper@state.mn.us or 651-259-5090.

Minnesota and Wisconsin can report using the EDDMapS Midwest web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species.

Here is a video so you can see what is meant by jumping worms.

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