Invasive jumping worms vs. good earthworms

I did not know about these things until they were mentioned in the BC flooding thread. I thought all earthworms were good worms!

I grow the most amazing nightcrawlers in my compost pile (they are expensive to buy for fishing bait, I send DH with a full can of them when he takes the boat out.) Comparing the photos, I think I have the good kind.

200604_7170 by Wendy, on Flickr

I read about those. YIKES! Now I don’t know if I have the good worms or the bad worms. I think they are the good worms but they do jump around when you unearth one. I can’t tell from the pictures of the bad ones/

I guess they can take up with the kudzu, privet, fire ants, Chinese wisteria and armadillos that are taking over down here.

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Well armadillos love to eat grubs and worms so maybe they can help control the jumping worms.

The worms I saw had a whitish band around them and the way they moved reminded me of snakes. They were on the surface too rather than in the soil. Freaky!

I, too, thought all earthworms were GOOD! What a shock to read about those invasive worms. We have a compost “barrel” out in the backyard, which we just emptied in our big compost. It was crawling with earthworms and I was so happy about it, but now I wonder if they were the good kind! Ack!

From what I’ve read, the invasive ones come from potted plants and bagged soil/compost…which we very seldom buy, so hopefully we’re good…sheesh.

Are the red wigglers that are sold for fishing bad as well? I have seen their castings sold in garden stores.

Jumping worms were a hot topic on some of the local gardening groups this year. Watch some videos to see the difference in movement.

I had been considering vermicomposting and in doing some research I was surprised to learn that here in MN all terrestrial earthworms are non-native, and can be detrimental to our hardwood forests. So even some of the “good” earthworms can be bad depending on the situation!

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/earthworms/index.html

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