If you aren't a fan of the creepy crawly things you might find around your house, or in your yard, I've got bad news for you. How is it possible there are worms that jump?

Asian Jumping Worms or Snake worms have made their way into Iowa. These things are disgusting. One of the first reported sightings was back in 2018 and it looks like these are here to stay.

You might be asking, well what's the difference between the common earthworm and a jumping worm?

The basics would be Earthworms are naturally a brownish color, maybe even a dark red and when they move, they slowly slug along. When they feel threatened they mostly just curl up. Essentially, they don't do much.

Asian Jumping Worms tend to be more grayish in color and they move more like snakes. They slither side to side and actually jump around when they feel threatened.

 

Asian Jumping Worms are actually an invasive species and not a good thing for your yard or garden. They eat organic matter in topsoil according to Red Hen Turf.

Unlike most other earthworms, which prefer lower layers of soil, jumping worms prefer the top layer where organic material needed for plant growth is concentraded. They quickly eat the organic matter in the topsoil which makes it difficult for plants to grow and other soil animals to survive.

One of the biggest issues with jumping worms is they produce like crazy. If you find one jumping worm, there are definitely more around. Red Hen Turf says

"they can produce several times during a single growing season."

What makes these worms even weirder, they don't need a mate to reproduce. They actually have both male and female reproductive organs.

Honestly, I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one.

Adult worms do die during the winter months but the worst part about these little creatures is that their cocoons actually survive the winter, hatch in the spring, and the whole cycle restarts.

I'm not someone who's typically afraid of creepy crawly things but these are a big no for me. One of my biggest fears is snakes. These are a little too close for comfort.

Last year the Courier reported that

"Anyone who finds jumping worms should report them to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic"

I'm not saying we need to blow up the state and completely start over but, these things creep me out.

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