They're invasive. They're creepy. They jump. Doesn't exactly sound like earthworms but they are. Oh, and they wriggle like snakes.

This summer, nearly three dozen U.S. states have seen the return of jumping earthworms, according to CBS News. Here in the Garden State, we call those suckers 'Jersey Wrigglers'.


Now, I'm not at all afraid of bugs, but when one I typically expect to move slowly suddenly picks up speed and goes flying into the air, it gives me pause.

Jumping worms don't like to be disrupted. So, when the soil they're living in gets dug up or turned over, they strike!

These earthworms flip and squirl and turn and curl up. They slither in an S-pattern, much like a snake. They are NOT cute, and some can be pretty fat and long.

courtesy WCCO - CBS Minnesota/YouTube
courtesy WCCO - CBS Minnesota/YouTube

And while they're just largely unappealing to look at, gardening experts like JP Pizzaro say they are actually destructive pests. They apparently eat their way through your soil which could cause it to erode. CBS Minnesota, which has experienced a spike in jumping earthworms, also report they're harmful to your plants.

You can thwart them from entering your yard, however. Getting rid of unused fishing bait (in the trash) can help, and so can steering clear of community mulch/compost yards. Heat-treated mulch and soil are also available at most garden centers to help eliminate 'Jersey Wrigglers'.

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Have you seen any 'Jersey Wrigglers' in action in your garden? Let us know in the comments below.

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