Marshall (Learfield)- The highly invasive jumping worm, which can damage soil and gardens, has spread across several Midwestern states, including Minnesota.

Ryan Hueffmeier with the University of Minnesota-Duluth says jumping worms are earthworms that live in the top few inches of soil, “have a voracious appetite,” and “consume a lot of…organic material such as your mulch or your compost that’s in your yards or garden.

To date, jumping worms have been documented in the southeast portion of Minnesota up through the metro area and as far north as the St. Cloud area. They get their name for the aggressive way they react to being touched.

If you find jumping worms, Hueffmeier recommends putting them in a plastic bag and throwing them away.