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Keep jumping worms from damaging lawns, gardens, natural areas

URBANA, Ill. – A new threat is invading Illinois. Jumping worms attack gardens, lawns, and natural areas with devastating results.

Illinois Extension forestry research specialist Chris Evans says the worms are voracious eaters that decrease soil quality and reduce organic matter.

“As the worms feed, they alter the soil by increasing aggregate size, creating larger clumps with more space in between,” Evans says. The worm’s actions deplete the soil nutrients and decrease the soil’s ability to hold moisture.

Over time, the soil begins to look like coffee grounds. The worm’s tiny eggs can survive Illinois winters.

Evans will provide advice for home and commercial lawn and garden owners on recognizing and reducing the damage of jumping worms during a free online webinar. The webinar begins at 1:30 p.m. April 26. Register online at

To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Gemini Bhalsod at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet access needs.

The workshop is part of Extension’s Four Seasons Gardening workshop series.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Illinois Extension Marketing and Communication Manager