A recent video by @organicgardeningco on TikTok has unexpectedly become the talk of the gardening community. With the worm wriggling in their hand, the user sends out a clear message: “If you see [these], get rid of them.”
While the Northeast today is home to a myriad of earthworm species, not all are native. The Asian jumping worm, a non-native species, has been making its presence felt since the late 19th century.
The Asian jumping worm’s appetite is insatiable. They consume organic matter at a pace that’s alarmingly faster than their European counterparts. This rapid consumption can strip forests of the essential layer needed for the growth of seedlings and wildflowers.
One of the most distinct signs of an infestation is the presence of a uniform, granular soil, reminiscent of coffee grounds. This is a result of the worm castings. These worms, which can grow up to 6 inches, are far more active than the European nightcrawlers.