Invasive Jumping Worm Detected in Humboldt County

Invasive Jumping Worm

Invasive Jumping Worm [Photo from the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture]

Press release from the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture:

Samples taken by the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture have been confirmed to be an invasive earthworm species known as the jumping worm (Amynthas agrestis). Jumping worms devour organic matter more rapidly than European earthworms, stripping the forest of the layer critical for seedlings and wildflowers.

Recently, the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture submitted a worm sample to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CFDA) Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division for testing. The sample was taken from a residential garden located in Arcata. 

The sample provided to the CDFA was confirmed to be the jumping worm through DNA testing. This is the first time the jumping worm has been detected in Humboldt County.

Movement of this worm is most likely attributed to the horticultural industry, since on their own, jumping worms can only move five to ten meters a year. Presence of the jumping worm has spread widely in the Northeast and Midwest in the past two decades. The first detection in California occurred in 2019 and was associated with potted plants at a nursery located in Napa County. There have been subsequent detections in Sonoma County in 2022 and 2023.

The CDFA has labeled the jumping worm as an A-rated pest, meaning it can cause economic or environmental harm if it becomes established in California.

The Humboldt County Department of Agriculture wants the community and nursery industry to be aware of this new pest and to contact the department if you believe you have found a suspected jumping worm.

If you suspect the presence of the jumping worm, please retain a sample, or take a photo of the worm in question and note the location of the worm. To report the suspected jumping worm, members of the public should fill out the jumping worm survey and contact the department at [email protected] or call (707) 441-5260.

How to Detect the Jumping Worm

The jumping worm can be distinguished from other earthworms by a milky-white band (the clitellum) wrapping all around and flush with its body near the head as well as its characteristic “jumping” when disturbed. On European earthworms, the band is raised or saddle-shaped and reddish-brown in color and does not wrap entirely around the body.

In nurseries, the presence of jumping worms is likely to be found underneath pots sitting on the ground or on landscape fabric. In forests and gardens, they tend to be near the surface, just under accumulations of leaf litter or mulch. When the top layer of soil is scratched, these worms can be seen thrashing about with an erratic, snakelike movement. One sign of a possible infestation is a very uniform, granular soil created from worm castings. The texture of the soil is often compared to coffee grounds.

The Department of Agriculture is committed to preventing the spread of this invasive worm and will continue to work to educate and assist the public in identifying and managing the jumping worm as needed.

For more information on the jumping worm, how to detect them or to learn how to keep them under control, please visit the following links:

For more information regarding the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture, visit the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner webpage.

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22 Comments
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tru matters
Guest
tru matters
5 months ago

Thanks for the worm-ing.
I worm-der how to get rid of them?

stevo
Guest
stevo
5 months ago
Reply to  tru matters

Take a dewormer? lol

Gary Whittaker
Guest
Gary Whittaker
5 months ago

Huh…. looks like a night crawler you get at a bait shop.

Hoffman
Guest
Hoffman
5 months ago
Reply to  Gary Whittaker

Yeah, they look similar, but a quick search online can show you the difference. Still, hard to tell apart physically. Apparently their behavior is pretty different though.

Trashman
Guest
Trashman
5 months ago

The moles should love them.

local observer
Guest
local observer
5 months ago
Reply to  Trashman

The mole salamanders will love them.

North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
Guest
North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
5 months ago
Reply to  Trashman

You should look up the damage they cause before you laugh.
You of all people know!!! Do Your Research!! 😁

Trashman
Guest
Trashman
5 months ago

Just did, pretty scary, a few large research grants should help.

North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
Guest
North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
5 months ago

With all the invasive critters I’ve seen in the last 30 years, this one is no surprise.
It’s these bugs an diseases that cost America

Trashman
Guest
Trashman
5 months ago

Not as much as Biden and his handlers.

Rob
Guest
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Trashman

Trump fucks us again. Death to all trumptards.

Martin
Guest
Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Take your stupid ass comment and go somewhere else to spread your crap please.

Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
5 months ago

maybe they can be used as a human food score, like cockroaches and crickets.

Actually
Guest
Actually
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

Wow I finally agree with you, might as well eat them. Also these worms have been here for at least a few years. The old neighborhood lady got spooked by them trying to jump on her in the night… we looked them up and reported it to the county two years ago.

I will say though that these worms are from planet earth just as we are. As a “hippy” it’s hard to get legitimately angry at them when humans continue to be way more destructive on their actions. I support eating them.

But yeah, saw them two years ago and reported it…

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
5 months ago
Ernie Branscomb
Guest
Ernie Branscomb
5 months ago
Reply to  The Real Guest

I will try to explain this without it becoming too complicated. If humans survive long enough we will see the Earth become completely homogenous. Every plant and animal will invade every possible place. Every species will breed down to its root origin. Races will be indistinguishable from another.

Human nature is unchangeable. To resist is futile. However, humans will stay occupied pulling beach grasses, burning forests to prevent forest fires, Driving electric cars to save icebergs, etc.

Then as the world finally comes to an end, to quote the late Bob Fraser. “There will only two species left, a cockroach and a coyote, and the coyote will be eating the cockroach.”

Trashman
Guest
Trashman
5 months ago

In the time that we or I have left I will enjoy whacking coyotes with whatever is at hand, stomping and spraying roaches is fun too.

Guineas will help! 😂😂
Guest
Guineas will help! 😂😂
5 months ago

I have guineas if anyone needs any to help rid this worm! They are great for pest control!!

Farce
Guest
Farce
5 months ago

I’ve heard they can jump right in your windows and steal everything in your house! Then they just jump back out and run away. Oh wait…that’s tweekers. Sorry, never mind….

Mike Morgan
Member
5 months ago
Reply to  Farce

I had neighbors like that when I lived in Eureka… And the guy beat his wife, too…

Mike Morgan
Member
5 months ago

Don’t buy potted weed from infested nurseries?

Guest
Guest
Guest
5 months ago

We’ve always had these worms…….