A highly invasive species of worms from Asia has been discovered in over a dozen Midwestern states.
Originally, the species was first discovered in Wisconsin back in 2013.
Now, new research has suggested that the feces of the Asian jumping worms could be negatively impacting habitats.
The worms had been accidentally introduced to the southeast United States back in the 19th century.
And since they have no naturally predators in the U.S., they are able to reproduce and further increase the population freely, leaving destruction everywhere they go.
This species can displace many naturally occurring species and disrupt the forest food chain.
Not to mention their ability to change soil chemistry and microbial communities, according to research. The soil can no longer retain moisture and is stripped of nutrients, which leave it vulnerable to erosion.
And these worms don’t need mates to reproduce.
Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are the states that have now been invaded by this species.
AWM reports that if you happen to spot one of these worms, experts suggest you kill it:
It is recommended that you kill these worms if you see them in your garden or yard. They can steal all the nutrients from the soil so that local plants and animals no longer have food to survive. With no place to live, the local plants and animals start to die off, and their population gets depleted in proportion to how many of these worms continue to thrive.
If you live in one of the affected states, you can expose these worms in your land to get rid of them. Brad Herrick, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, suggests sprinkling a mixture onto the soil to get these worms to leave it and come out for air.
Herrick suggests getting mustard powder and mixing it with some water. Then pour the mixture on top of your soil and wait for the worms to come squiggling out of the ground. They can emerge as quickly as in thirty seconds.
The formula works because mustard powder irritates the worms’ skin, so they leave the ground and come out to get away from it.
You can identify the Asian jumping worm by a marker on its body. It has a white ring around its body that is close to its head.
Watch it here: UMDHGIC/Youtube