The good news is that there still are areas free of earthworms. They are most common in areas of intense human activity and absent from the most remote areas. "If we stop moving and introducing earthworms, we can retain earthworm-free areas for a long time," Hale says.
It's virtually impossible to undo the damage that has been done by earthworms, but Hale urges people to spread the word about invasive earthworms. The citizen science website, www.greatlakeswormwatch.org, contains great information for landowners, teachers and students.
Hale also suggests that you:
* Throw unused worms used as fish bait into the trash, and not on land or in the water.
* Freeze compost solid for at least a week to kill the worms before using.
* Do not transport leaves, compost, or mulch from place to place.
* If you use ATVs or other vehicles with heavy treads that can hold soil, wash the treads before moving the vehicle from place to place.
Send questions and comments to Dr. Scott Shalaway, 2222 Fish Ridge Road, Cameron, WV 26033 or via my website, http://scottshalaway.googlepages.com.