Invasive jumping earthworms are moving throughout New York State. These Asian exotics devour organic matter more rapidly than their European counterparts, stripping the forest of the layer critical for seedlings and wildflowers. Jumping worms grow twice as fast, reproduce more quickly, and can infest soils at high densities. In areas of heavy infestation, native plants, soil invertebrates, salamanders, birds, and other animals may decline. Jumping worms can severely damage roots of plants in nurseries, gardens, forests, and turf. By disturbing the soil, jumping worms help facilitate the spread of invasive species and interfere with natural nutrient cycling.
Last updated January 8, 2018