As we are fast approaching Autumn, you probably expect your garden to be in the full extent of its beauty. However, something sinister could be lurking below. You may have noticed lately that your soil looks like coffee grounds or even hamburger meat. One thing that could be causing this is the invasive jumping worm! These pests are known to negatively impact soil structure and reduce plant growth. To identify them you will notice the clitellum is located 1/3 the length down the worm from the head and it will “jump” or wiggle when disturbed.
Be on the lookout for jumping worms in soil, potted landscape plants, mulch or compost. If you see soil that looks like coffee grounds or notice unusually jumpy worms in your mulch:
- Don’t move any material that might be harboring jumping worms.
- Report any suspected jumping worms.
- Jumping worms, as with all worms, should be disposed of in the garbage. Do not release them into the environment.
Jumping worms, are ecosystem engineers. By changing soil characteristics, they contribute to a number of other ecosystem shifts that may ultimately increase allergies and Lyme disease, reduce crop and forest productivity, and reduce forest biodiversity.
Field Outdoor Spaces is committed to stopping the spread of these pests and we hope you are too!
…Learn more about Jumping Worms here.