Jumping Worms are Making Iowans Jumpy

Well, the jumping worms are making Iowans jumpy lately, even though the critters have been reported around here since at least 2018 by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. All of a sudden, they’re alien invaders, slithering like snakes and jumping into your gardens.

Iowa State University wants us to take pictures of every jumping worm we see, so you have your cameras ready. They’re as popular as aliens from distant galaxies, but said to be far more destructive of the land, gorging themselves on leaf litter, and according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture,“…exposing the land to compaction, increased water runoff, erosion, and clears the way for invasive plants to take root on the newly cleared soil. This results in less diversity of native plants, and thus less diversity of animals.”

They thrash around and look pretty mad. There’s even a YouTube video of them whipping around in a frenzy.

I wonder if we could control them with Canadian Geese. They eat earthworms. I don’t know for sure if they eat jumping worms, but I don’t see why not.

There are a couple of problems with using geese, though. They hiss like snakes when you get too close to their young. Their long necks even remind me of snakes. And they like to spread their poop all over sidewalks and driveways.  

Maybe the jumping worms would be great for fishing. They’d whip around in the water so wildly they’d be sure to attract any hungry fish.

Here’s something ironic. Maybe we could use the jumping worms to catch snakehead fish, which is another invasive species. Catch the snakehead with snake worms and serve the snakeheads for dinner. Yum. I’ll have an egg salad sandwich, please.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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