Rio Grande Valley Broadband • Entered by Susan Ostlie on March 30, 2021

Non Native Invasive earthworms webinar – Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center

March 17, 2021

Participants and Hours

Pre Planning hours 0.5
Post Admin hours 0.5
Activity Hours 1
Participants 1
Total Hours 2

Key Issue: Public Lands Health & Protection
Activity Type: Education & Outreach (tabling, films & lectures, regional B-walks/works)
Key Partners: Environmental Learning Center – Ryan Hueffmeier – U of Minn.

Short Description of Activity

Abstract: Through this presentation we will discuss what makes most earthworms invasive species in North America. We will start the discussion with European earthworms (Nightcrawlers are an example) and how they got here, what their impacts are and what we can do. We will then move to Asian earthworms (Jumping worms are an example) the latest invasive worm to arrive in the region. Found in garden beds, mulch and compost piles they represent a threat to the health of our managed and wild landscapes. We will learn how to identify the differences between the two groups and how you can participate in documenting them across the landscape.

Reflection/Evaluation

This at first didn’t seem like that useful a webinar, but actually learning about the Asian (jumping) earthworms was enlightening. They eat all the small roots that feed and support plants and the only thing left of the root is the center taproot. This kills the plants, and the worms just move on to other plants and beds, and continue to spread until they’ve killed every plant in the area. These worms spread from plants at nurseries, especially the very large big box stores, who are not aware that the worms are in their plants. Often these plants are imported and not checked. This made me think we need to be more aware of what we buy in terms of garden and flowering plants and who we buy them from.

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