© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets today and be entered to win ALL prizes including $35k toward a new car or $25k in cash during NHPR's Summer Raffle!
0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff915b0001

Experts to Offer Tips on Dealing with Invasive Jumping Worms

Via Youtube (Link to video in the story)

A new species of invasive worm is chewing up forests and gardens on the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Experts will talk on Thursday in Portsmouth about how to deal with the wriggling pest called the jumping or crazy worm.

This Asian species looks like a regular earthworm, but Emma Erler, the education center program coordinator for UNH Extension, says you'll know the difference when you pick up a jumping worm.

"They really do jump or writhe in a somewhat snake-like fashion if they're disturbed, and that's the most telling. It's really bizarre,” she says.

And the jumping worms are hungry. Within a single season, Erler says they can reduce a forest floor or a garden full of mulch to a gritty texture like coffee grounds, which can’t support native plants.

"You end up with this forest floor that's either barren or that's full of invasive plant species, because they're more tolerant to those disturbed soil conditions,” she says.

Erler says jumping worms have mainly been found on the Seacoast so far, but they have been a problem in Vermont, Wisconsin and other states for years.

UNH will host a seminar about the worms – and how to stop them spreading any further in nursery materials – on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth.

Registration for the talk is required. More information is at UNH Extension’s website.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.