Earthworms known for their damaging nature are producing their way across Illinois.
The invasive creatures recognised as “jumping worms” have now been confirmed in 38 counties, such as Sangamon.
The worms, which are indigenous to East Asia, also are suspected to be in six a lot more Illinois counties, in accordance to horticulture educator Ken Johnson, who is effective with the University of Illinois Extension. Last week, Morgan County was added to the state’s growing listing of verified locations the place leaping worms — named for their special and active movements — have been spotted.
The creatures were being to start with uncovered in Illinois in 2015.
As the worms keep on to be found in communities across the state, listed here are three items to know.
What do they glimpse like?
Jumping worms are concerning four to eight inches lengthy. They have glossy dim brown or grey pores and skin with a clean white clitellum — colour band — around the prime of their bodies. The bottom of their bodies are typically a lighter shade of brown or gray.
When disturbed, leaping worms will leap, squirm, flip and thrash. They can also shed their tails in protection.
The invasive creatures are ordinarily seen from mid-summer season by way of the 1st freeze. They are usually found in 3 to 4 inches of soil, yard beds, mulch layer, leaf litter, in lawns and on pavement just after rain.
What would make them a menace?
Leaping worms have the probable to be extremely destructive to the two house landscapes and normal areas.
The worms consume organic and natural make any difference in the soil that is required by vegetation. They transform soil composition — depleting vitamins, harmful plant roots and altering the soil’s skill to keep water.
Jumping worms can also reproduce with out mating. Even even though there is discussion above irrespective of whether the grownup worms can endure winters in central Illinois, their eggs can.
Is there a way to halt the unfold?
There are no command actions that have confirmed profitable in ridding previously-infested regions of leaping worms, but there are a quantity of actions that can be taken to prevent the distribute of the worms.
These actions include things like extensively cleaning resources and equipment right before relocating them from 1 web-site to an additional and purchasing compost and mulch that has been heated to minimize the unfold of the eggs.
Not sharing soil, compost, mulch or plants among gardens and very carefully inspecting new plant material for jumping worms prior to planting are a couple of the other measures folks can get to stop the unfold of leaping worms.