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Worms a bad thing? Jumping Worms invading

 
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Location: Around Denver Colorado
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Headline from the article

Cancel Earthworms

The “crazy worms” remaking forests aren’t your friendly neighborhood garden worms. Then again, those aren’t so great either.


https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/01/jumping-worms-are-taking-over-north-american-forests/605257/?curator=MediaREDEF
 
steward & bricolagier
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Interesting...
I think massive amounts of chickens and other birds might be useful here. Top 6 inches is where chickens can get them.

A very interesting first post, Kinch Reindl, Welcome to Permies!
 
steward
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They're just coming into my area.  From the bit I've heard about it, the jumping or crazy worms act differently from earthworms, compost worms or night crawlers.  They eat the mulch materials and surface organic matter and their castings aren't nearly as healthy for the plants as normal worms.  They are mainly moved around by people buying/selling/moving soil and plants.

I think if they're in a garden bed, parking the chickens on them should take care of it.  But once they're into the forest, I think they'll be off to the races.

I hope they aren't as bad as I hear but I'm a bit worried.
 
pollinator
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Twould seem a ripe resource for some enterprising predator. We certainly have shaken up the ecological snowglobe around here these past few centuries
 
pollinator
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Welcome to Forums, Kinch Reindl.

The article states that all worms in general are horrible for agricultural sites because they increase infiltration, the water holding capacity, reduce how much irrigation we have to do,  recharge the water table/groundwater and thus directly causes fertilizer and pesticide pollution by soaking the polluted water into the soil.

With statements/viewpoints like those, I have to take everything that is written with a grain of salt. Seeing as how the earthworms are here to stay, I wonder what we could do to co-op them into doing less harm, more good. It sounds like they eat agricultural waste so fast we don't have to burn it and release fine particulars, instead we could just use them to process it super fast. The article seems to state that worms create a more bacterial dominated soil and one less dominated by fungi, it almost sounds like they actively digest fungi and lignin, vs just the bacteria like other worms. How did the native Forest in North Korea survive all these 1000's of years what patterns do they have that we don't have? Do we not have enough beavers/birds to eat the worms. Maybe we have to re-train the wild bjrds to eat them. Sometimes even chickens have to be trained to eat worms.

 
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Welcome Kinch Reindl,
I would like to state that the article you presented for reading misses the mark for me on several levels.
First off, worms are in general, awesome for any soil, earth worms like bacteria, especially those species we don't want in our soil, they are soil aerators so our vegetable and other roots can receive the air (O2) that they need to be healthy and the water infiltration their tunnels allow is far better for soil and plants than run off cause by soils not being able to soak in the rain water. None of these things are bad for soil or plants.

The author seems to be working with Big Ag companies since the article seems to be based on using artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all of which are bad for the soil and plants.
Why would you want to feed fast food only to your plants which you intend on ingesting as food?

As for the "jumping" worms, as others have brought up, chickens love to eat worms and will do a fine job of eradication, and since the offending worms are near surface dwellers and our good worms like to live at deeper levels, the offending worms would be the first preyed upon by chickens.

As S. Bengi stated, always do your own research, especially if what you read doesn't go along with what you already know.

Many folks also seem to think that "worm juice" is bad for plants, which is not exactly accurate either, non-aerated liquids should never be used on gardens, no matter where that liquid originates, getting air mixed into it should be priority one, with accurate placement of that liquid being priority number two.
Using fresh manure to make a "tea" with should only be done with rabbit, donkey and horse manures, all ruminant feces should be hot composted prior to any use of any part, those are the manures that will cause issues of disease being transferred.

Redhawk
 
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Chickens do not eat jumping worms according to researchers at Cornell University. Their skin is tougher than earthworms. These invasive worms have done a lot of damage, and they cover a lot of ground quickly. They do indeed destroy the soil and I have to foliar feed my plants. A mustard pour is about the only success I've had. Apparently possums, moles and snakes are predators of jumping worms. Once the damage is done, I don't know how to restore the soil without bringing in materials from outside, which can bring reinfestation.

How do you train a chicken to eat a worm? My chickens love Japanese beetles, but I have never seen them eat a potato beetle, despite my encouragement.

If anyone has had success eradicating jumping worms, I sure would like to know about it. Early bird fertilizer made from tea seed oil is supposed to help, but I can't find it anywhere!
 
pollinator
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Jumping worms destroy the understory of the forest. In areas where they’ve been rampant for years, walking through the forest is a completely different experience. The forest floor is “clean.”

In Vermont, researchers are worried about this dramatic change to the nature of our forests, including the possible loss of sugar maples. I’m familiar with the work of Josef Gorres. His focus is on the forest, and far less on agriculture.

These worms are a genuine menace, completely transforming the nature of forest duff. I’m worried.


https://www.uvm.edu/~entlab/Forest%20IPM/Worms/InvasiveWorms.html
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