Two recent articles from WNY Gardening Matters give updates on jumping worms, an invasive species that leaches nutrients from soil, making it difficult for most plants to grow. Jumping worms have been found in Western New York.
NY iMapInvasives is trying to track where jumping worms are and where they haven’t gotten to yet. Please look in your yard and let NY iMapInvasives know whether or not you see this invasive pest.
WNY Gardening Matters
The first article says that currently there is no approved preventive treatment for jumping worms, though some research is being done on this. The article also explains how to dispose of soil if you have jumping worms.
The second article explains the many ways that jumping worms damage our ecosystem.
You can see more articles on various topics in WNY Gardening Matters.
Identifying and reporting jumping worms
Check to see whether or not you have jumping worms and report your findings to NY iMapInvasives.
You can check your yard for these worms by using a mustard mixture that won’t harm your plants, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Mix a gallon of water with 1/3 cup of ground yellow mustard seed and pour slowly into the soil. This will drive any worms to the surface.
If you have a small population of invasive jumping worms, you can bag them and throw them in the trash. Or you can place them in a black plastic bag and leave the bag out in the sun for at least 10 minutes, then throw the bag away.
Take extra care to not spread these worms to new areas of your yard. Work in infested areas last, and always clean your tools and shoes afterwards.
More information can be found in the Homeowner’s Guide to Jumping Worms from Cornell University.