I used to think all worms were good for your soil. They help break down crop residue, aerate the soil and promote better soil structure. 'Extension Educator in Rice and Steele County Claire LaCanne first told me about jumping worms. An interesting fact is that no worms are native to Minnesota! All the worms we have in our soil were introduced here from another country. As I mentioned all of them are very beneficial except jumping worms.

Claire said they are called jumping worms because they wiggle or appear to jump when they are disturbed. They kind of look like nightcrawlers until they are disturbed. They are native to China and can transform fertile productive soil to soil like coffee grounds very quickly. Jumping worms have been identified in the Twin Cities along with western suburbs and in Rochester. They likely were brought into Minnesota when people moved potted plants, mulch and soil.

By the way, fisherman may think these active worms would be great bait. They are not even useful for anglers because they break into segments. Apparently worms can be bought and shipped to Minnesota. However, it is not legal to introduce jumping worms into the environment in Minnesota. Be aware because they may also be called Alabama Jumpers, snake worms and crazy worms. If you think you have jumping worms in your yard or land contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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