Turf Damage Could be a Sign of Invasive Worm Species
In 2015, Amynthas agrestis, an invasive species of worm, was discovered at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Amynthas agrestis, gets its common name, ‘crazy snake worm’, due to its unusual behavior, which is more snake-like than worm-like. These worms will aggressively wiggle and writhe when exposed to air or picked up, and will attempt to slither away.
If you notice unusual turf damage in your lawn, it could be caused by unusually active surface activity accompanied by large quantities of worm castings that resemble small ant hills. Additionally, animals such as raccoons and skunks can dig up large swaths of turf hunting for worms on which to feed.
Read more about the worms at this blog post from Evanston-based Greenwise Landscaping & Lawn Care.
These pests primarily spread through the movement of soil, so if you believe you have found crazy worms on your property, DO NOT spread your soil to other areas. Even if you do not see any grown worms in the soil, the worm’s castings in the soil can contain eggs. If you believe you have found Amynthas agrestis on your property, please contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resourcesor the Illinois Department of Agriculture.