No, this isn't a joke and the threat is real. Invasive worms that can jump a foot in the air have been reported in 40 Illinois counties. It appears they may be in Missouri already, too.

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I saw this reported first by WGN out of Chicago. If these worms don't give you the willies, nothing will.

The WGN report says that they have been found in 40 Illinois counties already and 34 states altogether.

The Missouri Department of Conservation also has these wicked worms listed on their website. They say that the jumping worms "damage plant roots, deplete organic nutrients in soils, alter the water-holding capacity of the soil, change the soil structure, and outgrow and outcompete other earthworms". That's bad news for the entire ecosystem in our part of America.

How do you check your garden to see if you have these things? Cornell University shared a document that says you can scratch the top layer of soil where these worms live. If found, they will thrash wildly which is the dead giveaway that this is the worm you don't want.

This invasive species of worm has become a problem across the country, but especially here in the Midwest where it's been found as far north as Minnesota.

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