There are three species of jumping worms that are very similar in appearance. On average, mature worms are 4-5 inches long with dry, smooth bodies. The clitellum (a band that circles the body) is white or gray in color and smooth to the body. When handled, jumping worms will thrash or wiggle violently. Mature worms are most likely to be found from August to September.
Confirmed observations of Jumping worm submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database. For more information, visit iMapInvasives
Jumping worms can occur in a variety of sites from forests to suburban parks or backyards. They are typically found in the upper soil layers or leaf litter.
Threats & Impacts:
Jumping worms reproduce asexually, meaning one individual can create an entire infestation. They're rapid growth and aggressive nature allow them to easily outcompete other European earthworms. Jumping worms can significantly alter the soil structure and nutrient cycles in forested ecosystems. They damage the roots of trees and plants, leading to a decline in native vegetation abundance and diversity.
Prevention is critical. Once established, there are no known management strategies for this species. Do not use jumping worms for bait, composting or gardening.