You might have jumping worms; they act differently in autumn

earthworm compared to jumping worm
Asian jumping worms like the one at right can harm the soil and plants in your garden. They’ve been identified in Erie County– we need to stop their spread. The mature jumping worm (genus Amynthas) can be identified by its characteristic smooth, often milky white clitellum (the band near the head of the worm). The common European earth worm, left, has a raised or saddleshaped, segmented clitellum that is darker in color than that of the Amynthas. Photo on left courtesy Joseph Berger, and photo on right courtesy Susan Day / UW–Madison Arboretum

One of the identifying characteristics of the invasive Asian jumping worm is that it jumps around– but not in autumn.

These worms get sluggish in autumn, so if you come across worms that don’t thrash around, don’t assume they’re earth worms, says Lyn Chimera in this article in the latest edition of WNY Gardening Matters.

It’s important to be able to identify these worms because they can damage your gardens. If their eggs are in your soil and you share plants with others, you could be spreading the eggs of these destructive worms.

See ways to tell the worms apart in the photo above.

Find out what you can do to help stop the spread of these invasive worms.

Two other articles in this edition of WNY Gardening Matters are:

2 Comments on “You might have jumping worms; they act differently in autumn

  1. I uncovered a drainage tile in the yard and saw some worms that just acted rather unusual in that they moved very fast, not the usual slow undulating movement of a “regular” worm. They also trashed around like crazy. Didn’t notice a band around them, but was startled by the behavior. I stomped them into the ground with my boot. Could they have been the jumping worms??

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