Jumping worms are a scourge that affect countless gardens and yards throughout the world.
This species is invasive and harms your soil chemistry by consuming all the organic matter used by plants for their own growth.
This can lead to massive problems such as erosion and plant death.
Fortunately, you are not completely helpless against this threat.
There are a few methods which have been tried, tested, and found to be effective against these ferocious pests.
Although none of these are always a hundred percent effective. Taken together you may finally stand a chance at fighting back.
This article will cover exactly how to eradicate jumping worms.
How do you Know if You Have a Jumping Worm Infestation?
There are hundreds of species of worms out there and most of them tend to look very similar.
They are all long, slender, and slimy as you would expect a worm to be. This makes it relatively difficult to differentiate different species of worms from each other.
However, it is crucial to know which species of worm has infested your garden as different species require different methods of pest control.
The first step is to obviously go off into your garden and obtain a few samples of the worms that have infested your garden.
Firstly, you want to make sure that all of them look the same so as to ascertain whether it is one species or if there are multiple species wreaking havoc in the yard.
If all the worms look the same, you can then proceed to see if they are indeed jumping worms.
Jumping worms tend to be about 6 inches long although some individuals may be slightly longer or shorter.
Secondly, they have a dark brown color.
The most distinctive visual feature of jumping worms, however, is a cloudy white band running across the circumference of the worm on one end.
In jumping worms, this organ is not raised as it is in other worms. Instead, it rests firmly embedded within the flesh of the worm.
If the worm samples you obtained match with this description then you must likely have a jumping worm infection.
One final way to make sure is by touching or holding the worm. If, of course, you are willing to do that.
If you do hold the worm, a jumping worm will react violently and thrash about extremely energetically.
This is what gives the worm its name and the most sure fire way of identifying it.
How to Eradicate the Jumping Worms
The first method to eradicate these worms is by using a mustard pour and then manually destroying them.
First, take about one third of a cup of ground up mustard seeds and mix these with a gallon of water.
Then pour this water around the infected area.
In case your garden is larger, you can always make more of the mustard pour by mixing in the same ratios.
The mustard pour should cause the worms to come up to the surface.
This is your chance to go ahead and grab them with forceps or your fingers depending upon which you are more comfortable with.
Take the collected worms and add them into a small plastic bag.
Close this plastic bag and leave it in the sun for a few hours so that the worms dry out and die.
You can also manually kill the worms, however, this method is obviously stomach churning and might not be suitable for all people.
Once the worms have been killed, dispose of the closed plastic bag in the trash.
This is to ensure that in case there are still any surviving worms they do not escape into the environment and lead to further problems by infesting other areas.
Repeating this exercise a few times a week for a couple of weeks should greatly control the populations and hopefully lead to the worms being exterminated.
In case the garden is too big for this method to be suitable you might have to utilize an alternative method.
One such method is the inclusion of biochar in the soil. This can be bought online or from your local garden store.
You will need to break up the topsoil and then add a healthy amount of biochar to the soil.
Biochar is suitable as it will not negatively impact your plants and neither will it lead to harmful substances leaching into the garden as it is simply made of charcoal.
When the worms move about in soil that has been treated with biochar their soft, squishy bodies will end up rubbing against the grains of the biochar.
This will lead to abrasion that should damage or rip open the skin of the worms and kill them.
Incase biochar is not available you can also utilize diatomaceous earth.
This material is essentially made out of fossilized diatoms and has some of the same abrasive qualities as biochar.
Thus it can be used as another plant-friendly substance to get rid of the jumping worms infesting your garden.
Finally, it is important to remember that prevention is the best cure.
How to Stop Jumping Worms From Infesting Your Garden Again
When it comes to maintaining your garden there are a few good practices to adopt to ensure that you do not end up with a jumping worm infestation.
Firstly, always make sure that the mulch you buy has been heat treated.
This will make sure that any eggs or cocoons of jumping worms within the mulch have been destroyed before they even get into your garden.
Secondly, you want to be careful and maintain good hygiene when adding plants into your garden.
You should avoid adding a new plant with its soil unless you are absolutely sure that the soil does not contain jumping worms.
In case the soil may possibly have jumping worms you want to remove the soil off of the roots of the plant far away from the garden and collect the soil and dispose of it in a closed plastic bag.
The plant can then be transplanted into your garden without any of its previous soil in order to reduce the risk of a Jumping Worm infestation.
The Jumping Asian Worm is an invasive species that can wreak havoc on your garden if allowed to go unchecked.
While most earthworms are fantastic for gardens, Asian Jumping worms can quickly take over and ruin your small ecosystem. It’s best to keep them under control.
After reading this post, hopefully, you now know exactly how to do that.