Maine is Literally Being Overtaken by a Jumping Worm That is Born Already Pregnant
Worms are creepy and crawly. Can we at least begin by agreeing on that?
Sure, they are a major part of most ecosystems and a must when fishing with live bait and bobbers. But what happens when worm populations, especially invasive worms, start to explode?
Well, that's exactly what is happening in Maine right now, according to WGME 13.
The news station reported that Maine is experiencing a major population explosion of the invasive Asian Jumping Earthworm. And get this, they are born already pregnant.
If that doesn't make your skin crawl, check out this excerpt on the Asian Jumping Earthworm from the master gardener at Cornell University:
"Asian jumping worms devour organic matter more rapidly than their European counterparts, stripping the forest of the layer critical for seedlings and wildflowers. Jumping worms grow twice as fast, reproduce more quickly, and can infest soils at high densities. In areas of heavy infestation, native plants, soil invertebrates, salamanders, birds, and other animals may decline."
The Cornell University master gardener also noted that the worms can be destructive to "roots of plants in nurseries, gardens, forests, and turf," as well as even help spread invasive plant species.
The problem with these worms in Maine? Well, according to WGME, these worms eat up nutrient-rich organic matter so quickly, that it's gone before trees and plants ever have the chance to eat it up themselves.
This means that plants and trees will not be getting the life-sustaining nutrients they need to survive. What's worse? These pesky invasive worms are a real bi**h to kill.
The news station reported that these worms reproduce through a process called parthenogenesis. What this means is that the worms produce their eggs without ever needing them to be fertilized to create new babies.
This makes it virtually impossible to stop the spread.
If you happen to see these creepy crawlies in your vegetable gardens, you should work on doing everything you can to get them out, or your vegetables will pay the price.
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Gallery Credit: Krissy