A new invasive species could be terrorizing your garden, and you better learn about it before it destroys all of your hard work in the soil. While there are numerous invasive species from across the world that have been making their way across the border into the United States in recent years, a new threat has been identified, and it is a worm – the Asian jumping worm, to be exact.
In a viral TikTok video shared to the Chinese-operated social media video-sharing platform, the user Organic Gardening Companion shares a clip of themselves holding a squirmy worm before telling the camera, “If you see (these worms), (you better) get rid of them.”
Unfortunately for those of you living in the Northeast part of the United States, the Asian jumping worm is an invasive species that has found its way across the ocean to America. In addition to living in the Northeast portion of the country, the Asian jumping worm can also be found in the Midwest and the Atlantic regions of the United States.
While the worm might look harmless, it has actually been an environmental hazard everywhere it now lives in the United States. The worm is named after the thrashing movement it makes as it squiggles across the ground. According to the viral TikTok video, the Asian jumping worm is “horrible for your garden.” The worm can actually leap off the ground due to its spastic movements.
Because the worm moves so much, it requires a lot of energy. And in order for the worm to get as much energy as it needs to survive and thrive in the United States, it needs to eat a whole lot of food. Unfortunately, the worm devours much the same food that native American species need to survive. However, this invasive species of worm takes up so much food that it leaves barely anything for the species that were here first – just like other unwanted invaders throughout history.
In small numbers, the Asian jumping worm is little more than a pest. However, if a lot of worms gather in the same yard or farm, they can reduce the soil of all its nutrients, making the soil utterly worthless to other forms of life like native worms and even plants.
Asian jumping worms live in the soil. That means if you move soil contaminated with these invasive worms, you could find them spreading into mulch or potting soil. They can even survive in a pile of leaves or the treads of your shoes if you happen to collect dirt in them. If they make their way from a home garden into a forest, they can cause catastrophic damage to nature in America.
After the TikTok video went viral, people shared their reactions in the comments.
One wrote, “Saw this video a couple of days ago, and low n behold .. found in my garden under some mulch bags.”
Another shared, “I saw those all the time when I was a kid in my backyard. That might be why our flowers kept dying so quickly when we did everything else right.”
If you see the Asian jumping worm, your garden could be in danger!