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Jumping worms are back in Michigan (yes, jumping worms)

A Jumping Worm
University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
A Jumping Worm

Jumping worms have emerged from the ground once again.

Jumping worms are back in Michigan.

The invasive species buries itself underground during the winter, but is back above soil in higher than expected numbers and can damage insects and trees.

The jumping worm can grow up to eight inches long and can be identified by the white ring around its body. It can also be identified by its ability to thrash or jump off the ground when touched.

It produces a coffee ground like substance which can harm the leaf layer of soil and hurt the ground floor.

The jumping worm can reproduce asexually, meaning the worm doesn't need a mate and produces fast.

One way to discover if you have jumping worms is to use the "mustard pour."

The mustard pour is a liquid mixed with 1/3 cup of ground hot yellow mustard seed into one gallon of water. Slowly pouring the liquid over an area will bring any worms to the surface and won't harm any other organism in the ground.

Environmentalists have yet to find a solution to the problem but say you can kill the worms individually. The best way to kill a jumping worm is to seal it in a bag and then use heating or freezing.

If you find a jumping worm cocoons, which looks like a small black pellets, you should heat the soil or mulch at 130 degrees for three days.

Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.
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