Asian jumping worm

Jumping worms threaten forest and garden health in Albany’s Capital District

A year ago I did not know what a jumping worm was. Laura has done quite a bit of research on them and it is looking like these Asian invasive species (there are 3 distinct species here in the United States) will be affecting our landscapes, gardens and forests from now on.

During our research on these invasive worms a fascinating fact emerged:

Here in the Northeast we have No Native earthworm species!


The typical worms in our gardens are all European species brought here by early colonists. Glacial action scraped off all of the soil (along with the invertebrates living in it) during the Ice Age!

Laura discovered Jumping worms in the burlapped root balls of shrubs we purchased at one of our local wholesale nurseries. We returned the shrubs but the staff did not know about jumping worms. They have been in our soils for decades but now their populations are growing. The Cornell fact sheet below lays it all out for us; there is no solution yet but stay alert and don’t give away garden plants without checking them for jumping worms!

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