Jumping worms are an invasive, self-reproducing species known for their thrashing and jumping behaviors when disturbed. In recent years, jumping worms have been found within the region and have caused concern within the industry. They are of specific concern in natural environments, where the ecosystem relies on natural cycling of organic matter. The worms are often noticeable in landscapes after applying fresh layers of organic materials, which draws these worms to the surface. They are responsible for altering natural environments by changing the degradation patterns in soils.
The eggs overwinter in soil and are known for surviving extreme weather conditions. Ways to mitigate the spread of jumping worm include proper sanitation of equipment, and limiting the spread of soils and organic material from site to site. Temperatures achieved through commercial composting are sufficient in killing the eggs.
Here at Midwest Groundcovers, several aspects of our growing process make conditions unfavorable for the spread of jumping worms. Plants are grown in containers on gravel surfaces, limiting the number of organic materials available. All of our soil mixes come from our sister company, Midwest Trading, which sources its organic materials from reputable vendors, and abides by strict pasteurization and sterilization processes. Additionally, all of our production facilities are regularly inspected by state nursery inspectors. While these measures are effective, they do not constitute a guarantee. We continue to work with industry partners to monitor the situation and maintain an awareness of adapting landscaping practices.