AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Gardeners should look for an invasive species. It’s called a jumping worm, and they have been spotted all over New England.

Jumping worms, or snake worms as they’re also known, are a type of earthworm. And while they may help the plants in your garden grow, they can hurt the New England ecosystem.

22News spoke with Justin Richardson, who’s an assistant professor in Geo-Sciences from UMass Amherst. He said New England ecosystems have developed mainly without earthworms, with jumping worms first arriving in the 60s.

But garden centers and mulch led to them expanding. So these worms can be damaging to our forests, like seedlings of native trees, trilliums, and jack-in-the-pulpit.

“Turn over rocks or turn over leaves,” Richardson said. “That’s where you’re going to find the most of them, especially when it’s wet out. And make sure you don’t transport your soils and plants to other homes because then you could potentially spread them.”

Currently, there is no pesticide for these jumping worms. Richardson said you could then remove them from your garden, put them in a plastic bag in your trash, or leave them on the pavement when the sun is out.