Most of Wisconsin has no native earthworms. What’s with that?

Hand holding several jumping worms (Amynthas species)

UW–Madison Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick displays several jumping worms. Photo: Eric Hamilton

Plenty of Wisconsin gardeners are suffering from worm confusion.

Alarms sounded a few years ago about invasive jumping worms, ramping up the anxiety for a pastime meant to enjoy and help unwind. Mulch, annuals, perennial nonprofit sales and exchanges are now eyed with caution. Added scrutiny is paid to gardening hygiene, potted plants and brought-in soil amendments. Unfortunately for gardeners, jumping worms join a long list of undesirables along with garlic mustard, Japanese beetles and powdery mildew.

Then comes the earth-shattering realization that earthworms are not native.

Read the full Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story by Jennifer Rude Klett, June 17, 2021