Is anybody fighting the jumping worm infestation in Wisconsin or New York? I've been seeing increasingly alarmed posts from my friends in Wisconsin, saying that the worms destroy the soil organic matter and its ecosystem, leaving the soil the texture of coffee grounds, that won't clump or hold water. They are resorting to gardening in containers and watching their formerly productive gardens turn to dust!
I have to think that once agriculture is affected, the chemical companies will swoop in with some poison or other, which likely will kill a lot of other things at the same time, which means permies will need to be on hand to spread compost tea and reintroduce more helpful worms.
But what else can be done? Are chickens effective at getting rid of the worms, or do they just chase them lower into the soil? Same question for solarizing. Has anyone on the forum had any luck at fending off these worms from your farm or garden, or heard of any promising techniques? Thanks in advance.
I've heard lots of worry in my part of WI but no suggestions for ways to address the worm. Since they don't fly very well, I figure if I keep them off my property in the first place, I should be in good shape. If I bring in suspect soil (one jumping worm egg can start your infestation, they don't need a mate) I put it in one place as a quarantine. I figure that if I see a worm there, I'll build an enclosure around it and let the chickens destroy the area. From what I think I've heard, these worms don't go very deep.
I think these have been in the South East US for decades.
According to a researcher at Cornell University, chickens do not like jumping worms. Possums, moles and snakes do. Apparently jumping worms can travel across and destroy 17 acres in a single season, so it isn't taking long for these worms to do a lot of damage. Mustard pour (1/3 cup of ground mustard seed per gallon) can bring them to the surface so you can destroy them. Early bird fertilizer (made from tea seed) apparently kills them, but it costs $55 per bag and I can't find it anywhere.
I've read a lot about them and from what i understood, once you have them, you'll never get rid of them until they deplete your soil of food and move on. even if it gets cold enough to kill them their egg casings will survive to start over in spring. they are very aggressive. when i was in the army in alabama in 1989, i found a bunch of them digging a foxhole so they have been in the south for at least 3 decades. it freaky how fast they move. they used to be sold for fish bait until they realized how invasive they were.
I have these jumping worms (or crazy snake worms, as we call them) here in central Connecticut. This year I've seen them in every part of my property, even in our raised beds and grow bags. They've caused a lot of damage for us - seedling failure and many plants that have failed to thrive or grow extremely slowly. I read somewhere that using 1/3 cup dry mustard to 1 gallon of water and drenching the soil with this mixture can irritate the worms and cause them to die eventually? I haven't tried it but I think I will. I don't see how they could be eradicated, so my plan is to experiment with different types of crops to see what can co-exist with them. Root crops so far seem to fail with these worms. I would love to hear other perspectives and experiences.
Squanch that. And squanch this tiny ad:
the permaculture bootcamp in winter (plus half-assed holidays)