Asian Jumping Worms

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“Jumping worms, a group of species originally from Asia, are invasive species that alter soil qualities and make it inhospitable for some plants and animals. They do this by consuming the upper organic layer of soil, which leaches nutrients and erodes the ground. This makes it hard for many plants (including garden plants) to grow and threatens even the most well-tended lawns.” (1)

Where can you find jumping worms?

  • Jumping worms can be found in compost, yards, gardens, leaf litter, and mulch, in addition to soils in natural areas.
  • Look for the distinctive “coffee ground” soil texture caused by jumping worm castings.
  • Jumping worms live near the surface of the ground, in the topmost organic layer.
  • Keep in mind that Jumping worms exist at different life stages throughout the year.
  • The adult stage is the most visible; you may be able to find adult jumping worms in the soil through October.

How can you tell the difference between jumping worms and other earthworms?

  • The easiest way to tell is their distinctive snake-like wriggling behavior, compared to the slower expand-and-contract motions used by other earthworms.
  • You can also tell by the milky-white collar, or “clitellum”. Compare this to the raised, pinkish clitellum much more toward the middle of the worm for typical earthworms.

Asian Jumping Worm
Earth Worm


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