Invasive jumping worms confirmed in 2 Iowa counties

Invasive jumping worms confirmed in 2 Iowa counties
This undated photo from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows an invasive jumping worm, bottom, next to a common night crawler. (WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES)

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An earthworm native to east Asia has been confirmed in Dubuque and Muscatine Counties in eastern Iowa.

The Iowa Agriculture Department says they’re usually called jumping worms because of their vigorous wriggling when disturbed. They’re also referred to as crazy worms or Alabama jumpers.

They can grow up to 8 inches long and are found closer to the soil surface than other earthworms and found amid leaf litter.

The department says leaf litter protects open areas of land. When the worms consume the litter and soil, the land is subject to compaction, increased water runoff and erosion.

The department recommends against moving compost, mulch and topsoil from potentially infested areas and against moving plants from the infested counties.

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