Asian jumping worms that thrash around when messed with are invading the United States of America and destroying the ecosystem of the forests, according to Science News.
These jumping worms were brought here from Asia in potted plants and have been digging their way across the states displacing other species of earthworms, centipedes, salamanders, and ground-nesting birds.
“They can invade an area the size of 10 U.S. football fields in a single year! Now research shows they also damage the forest soils they inhabit,” Science News stated.
They have well-established themselves in the South and Mid-Atlantic states and some have even made their way to the Northeast and Upper Midwest parts of the country. They were originally brought here over 100 years ago, but in the last 15, they have been rapidly expanding.
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Scientists are searching for the reason why they are spreading so quickly and they think it may have to do with a warmer winter this year in the North. They have been found in 34 states so far and are believed to possibly be in more than that.
On the positive side, fishermen have been purchasing them from bait shops to help get rid of them. Some say they like the worm’s thrashing, it attracts the fish. Others have been buying them for compost piles to eat food scraps. There is still much to learn about them.