jumping worms

Jumping Worms Spreading in Connecticut

Jumping worm
Dr. Gail Ridge

A species of earthworm called the “jumping worm” is spreading through Connecticut.

“They damage the root systems of shallow-rooted plants,” Dr. Gale E. Ridge, an associate scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said.

The worm, which has a milky white-collar and strong, rigid body, has the potential to ravage landscapes and forest ecosystems.  

Ridge called them a European-like earthworm on steroids.

The species originated in Japan in the late 1940s, when they were imported to the Bronx Zoo to feed platypuses and they spread in New York through downed trees after Superstorm Sandy.

Now, she thinks the yardwork people have done while spending more time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing.

“I suspect more people were at home because of COVID, did some more yard work, brought in more materials and so spread of the earthworms around New England even more,” Ridge said.

If you find them on your property, pick them up and put them into soapy water, she said.

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