Invasive Species Alert

Watch Out for Invasive Jumping Worms

Photo Taken By Yoshi Katagiri, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Alert Date:Posted on

Invasive Jumping Worms are widespread in the USA, but have recently been spotted in Ontario and New Brunswick. Like their name suggests, they can jump and thrash, which is uncommon for other species of earthworms. They are known to rapidly consume nutrients in the soil and displace other earthworms and soil-dwelling organisms, and are particularly damaging for top soils.

“They’ve only been recognized in Canada recently,” says a PhD taxonomist and expert on earthworms, John Reynolds. “We have four species in Ontario and some of the same in New Brunswick.”

The worms can arrive hidden in soil, either in bags or potted plants, or sometimes in containers of fishing bait imported from the USA. 

“People were a little scared of them. You’re digging in the garden, and you get this worm that’s kind of bouncing up and squiggling and wiggling,” says Cathy Kavassalis, an expert gardener in Oakville, Ontario. 

If you see a Jumping Worm in your garden, please report it to the Report Invasive phone app, that is available from the provincial website:

To read the full press release, click here

For more information about the invasive jumping worm, click here.