Invasive jumping worms spotted in Sacramento County. Here’s why they’re concerning

Invasive worms that can jump as high as a foot in the air have been reported in Sacramento County, an official said.

The slimy critters, known as jumping worms, are also referred to as Alabama jumpers, Jersey wrigglers, crazy worms and crazy snake worms.

“We have had a lot of reports of jumping worms,” said Kevin Martyn, the Sacramento County deputy agriculture commissioner.

There are different species this Asian jumping worm, and so far in Sacramento, there have been positive reports for one of them.

Lucky us, it’s not considered as aggressive or as invasive as the alternatives, Martyn said.

What’s the problem with jumping worms?

Similar to earthworms, jumping worms like to eat fallen leaves and natural ground material. What makes these jumping critters problematic is their big appetites.

According to UC Master Gardeners Program, the jumping worms can easily clear the soil’s surface layer, which holds natural organisms. Without the nutritious top soil, ecosystems are disrupted and plants are unable to grow.

Why are they considered invasive?

According to a post from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, jumping worms are considered invasive due to their inability to evolve with U.S. species and their detrimental effect on the ecosystem.

What do they look like?

What distinguishes a jumping worm, aside from its ability to propel itself from the ground, is the milky band around its body.

It also has a milky gray and smooth exterior, ranging from 1.5 to 8 inches in length.

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