Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2021

Can We Stop ’Em in Their Tracks?

Jumping Worms

By Lisa Schamess

Maybe you went walking in the woods in warm weather and a strange creature slithered underfoot or across your path.  Congratulations:  You’ve seen a jumping worm.  These slimy, fast-moving, and sinuous creatures are unlike any worm you’ve ever seen, and their presence indicates diminished soil quality, erosion, and stress for native habitat.

“Jumping worms” describes three similar invasive species of worm whose populations have exploded in recent years in 37 U.S. States, including in Maryland.  The Maryland Invasive Species Council published an excellent overview in 2019, with photos to help identify them, and the depleted soil they leave in their wake (  In a nutshell, here’s how to spot them:

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