Scientists Are Concerned About ‘Crazy Worms’ That Are Now Found In 15 States

Have you heard about crazy worms? These worms are making an appearance in many states across the United States, and it seems as if they are spreading quickly.

They may look somewhat like a normal worm, but their presence is a concern to scientists and should be a concern to you.

Crazy worms are of the genus Amynthas and are also known as Asian jumping worms, Alabama jumpers, and snake worms. If you pick one up, they will wriggle their way out of your hand and they might even end up leaving their tail behind in the process.

Photo: flickr/Tom Potterfield

They may seem somewhat harmless, but the problem is, they deplete the nutrients in the soil very quickly and then the topsoil erodes. It isn’t long before native plant life and even some of the insects in the area are left suffering.

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Newsweek reports that some of the states where the crazy worms are found include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. It seems as if they are quickly moving into other states as well.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although they look similar to regular earthworms, they reproduce quickly and they don’t even need a mate to reproduce. The eggs that they lay are the same color as the soil, and when the eggs hatch, the worms eat all of the nutrients and leave behind a grainy concoction that looks like coffee grounds.

According to PBS Wisconsin, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Brad Herrick, said, “One thing that we’ve noticed is that these earthworms, not only do they change the soil structure and the nutrient dynamics in the soil, but they also somehow or another displace other species of earthworms that are already there.”

Photo: flickr/Alfredo Eloisa

Researchers are still looking into the dangers associated with the crazy worms but it’s clear that they are causing a lot of problems.

At this point, there is not a plan in place that will control their spread, and according to The Atlantic, they may even be spreading from state to state on truck tires and in imported plants.

If you do happen to find one in your garden, put the adult worm in a bag and leave it in the sun for 10 minutes. You can then throw it away.

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