“Crazy Worms” That Can Jump A Foot In The Air Are Invading California

3 mins read
jumping worms

The crazy worm is a member of the Amynthas genus and was first discovered in Japan and the Korean Peninsula. It is also known as the Asian jumping worm, Alabama jumpers, and Jersey wrigglers.

It is believed that these fugitives arrived in North America in the 19th century aboard international commercial ships and then hitchhiked their way throughout the country by concealing themselves as plants.

These are incredibly strange, gnarly-looking animals that a science fiction author has penned. They can thrash furiously like a rattlesnake, jump up to a foot in the air, and clone themselves.

These non-native species have been inching their way across the states like a slow-moving snake. As of 2021, they have been discovered in the following states: Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Louisiana,  Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Now that they have been forced to from their home, they have found sanctuary in California, which may be terrible news for the ecosystem in the surrounding area.

An entomologist working for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) discovered the worm in a containerized plant at a Napa County nursery in July 2021. The identification of the worm has subsequently been confirmed by DNA sequencing.

Because these worms do nothing beneficial for the soil and leave behind a mess like ground coffee, experts are quite concerned about them. These worms consume nutrients and leave behind a mess that resembles ground coffee.

These worms never become full and can consume the litter layer of the forest, which is the habitat of many little creatures and plants. Without the layer of leaf litter, the latter can neither grow nor spread.

These worms compete for resources with other types of earthworms friendlier to gardens, which can lower soil quality. Because their eggs can also hatch without being fertilized, they can generate thousands of eggs that can blend seamlessly with the earth around them and remain undetected.

How exactly do you intend to get rid of these eggs? Because these small creatures are so hardy and their cocoons can survive in extremely cold conditions, there are no accurate suggestions available at this time.

Research that employed something called “prescribed fire” found that this may lower the number of eggs, but it would not entirely eradicate them. It is speculated that handpicking and destroying each one would be the most effective method.

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