Keep Invasive Asian Jumping Worms Out of Your Yard

When handled, Asian jumping worms (Amentias spp.) jump or thrash. Although youngsters and worm lovers may enjoy seeing this worm in their lawn, garden, or woodlot, it's detrimental for the environment.

Description

Appearance

Earthworm jumping worms. When agitated, they wiggle like snakes and jump, hence the moniker “jumping worms”. Light-colored bands wrap the body and head closer than in other earthworms.

Biology

Some Amynthas jump worms. Jumping worms eat leaf litter and the first few inches of soil without digging. Late summer and fall provide cocoons. Adults die, but cocoons survive winter.    

Origin and spread

Earthworms are not native to Minnesota or the north. Jumping worms are Asian. Moving potted plants, soil, compost, mulch, and fishing bait spread jumping worms across North America.

Don't be fooled by these look-alike

Find coffee-ground soil. Jumping worms produce coffee-ground dirt by eating and excreting excrement.In a separate browser tab, Wisconsin DNR video shows angry jumping worms jumping like snakes and discharge yellow mucus.  

Regulatory classification

Jumping worms (Amentias species) are unlisted nonnative in Minnesota. Their introduction into Minnesota is illegal.

Threat to Minnesota

Invasive species can damage Minnesota's land and rivers and affect people' and visitors' enjoyment.  

Control method

Avoiding jumping worm introduction and spread in Minnesota is better than controlling established populations. Do not buy or import jumping worms. Check mulch, plants, soil, and bait.

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