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Invasive jumping worms in Virginia

Jumping worms are in Virginia and getting close to our area. Since 2019, they have been found in a number of counties, including Northumberland, according to the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology.

While many worms are considered good for the soil, jumping worms are invasive, probably entering Virginia in potted plants. They feed on leaf litter and mulch, said a report from Virginia Tech. They “remove an important organic layer “and leave the soil underneath “bare, with a uniformly dry, granular appearance resembling coffee grounds.”

The worms, 3 to 6 inches long, can be recognized by erratic jumping and thrashing behavior when handled or disturbed. They are red to brownish purple in color, identifiable by a smooth, milky-colored band of tissue encircling the body.

Homeowners who believe they have found jumping worms should take a photo or video and report the finding to a local office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the release said.

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