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 Trading, we source our organic materials from reputable vendors. Our spent mushroom substrates are steam pasteurized prior to leaving the mushroom facility. Other materials such as bark and compost reach temperatures of greater than 135◦F. While these preventative measures are effective, they do not constitute a guarantee. We continue to work with industry partners to monitor inputs and work on solutions for adapting landscaping practices.