The thought that worms are good for soil is not always true. The invasive Crazy Snake Worm is definitely the exception. This destructive pest threatens to destroy landscapes by depleting the soil of organic material leaving the grass, plants and trees to struggle and possibly die. Crazy Snake Worms look very similar to the common Nightcrawler. William Flahive explains how you can tell the 2 apart. “A night crawler it is thick-skinned and when it stretches becomes long. If you touch its nose, the tails flattens out. Crazy Snake Worms are also long, but tend to be more slender. The Crazy Snake Worm will squirm violently when handled, sometimes actually leaping from one’s hand. It has the ability to shed its tail, which continues to squirm, while the rest of the earthworm will try to escape.”
According to Donna Levy, Integrated Pest Management Specialist at Cornell Plantations, “Amynthas is an annual worm.” This explains why the worms are seen in late summer, early fall. They overwinter as eggs.
The following link is a very informative research document by William Flahive. CT Invasive Worms vers 10 4 11.
Harrington’s Organic Land Care is looking into deterrent options for this destructive pest.[blaze cats=1]