How can you help?
1. Don’t dump
Don’t dump your earthworm bait on land or in water (earthworms can survive in water for days). Instead, save it for your next trip or throw it in the garbage. Because the larger endogeic and anecic species tend to have more severe impacts than the epigeic species that live in the leaf litter, disposing of bait properly can make a big difference in reducing the impacts of earthworms on our forests!
2. Clean tires
Cleaning the tire treads on your vehicle or ATV when moving to a new location in order to remove earthworms and cocoons (likely from the litter-dwelling epigeic species) is important because the changes epigeic species cause to soil structure are believed to make it easier for larger earthworms to establish and reproduce.
3. Avoid transporting
Avoid moving leaves, mulch, or soil between sites unless you are sure they do not contain earthworms or cocoons.
4. Freeze vermicompost before spreading it
If you use earthworms for composting and live in a remote area, freeze the compost for 1 week to a month before using it outside. This should kill the earthworms and their cocoons. The main earthworm species (Eisenia fetida) that is commercially sold for composting cannot survive in cold climates, but other species that can survive are sometimes mixed in.
5. Tell others
Tell others about earthworm invasions and how they can help reduce earthworm spread.
6. Learn more
You can also help scientists learn more about the distribution of earthworms in Canada by reporting invasions to Canada Worm Watch.