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Invasive 'Alabama Jumpers' Can Reproduce Without a Mate, Lay 20 Worm Cocoons Each Month

Western Journal

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Summer is almost here, and for many American families, that means a time of joy, laughter and togetherness. In no other season do kids really have an opportunity to be kids.

Summer also is the season for an armada of Alabama jumpers, an invasive species of worms from East Asia that want nothing more than to ravage your lawn and garden, leaving nothing but horticultural devastation in their wake.

Also called jumping worms, snake worms or Jersey wrigglers, these worms spread quickly, and their activity is destructive to topsoil. This could destroy lawns, gardens and ancient forests.

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That’s not a big deal in ecosystems that have evolved alongside these worms, but North America is new territory for them, meaning there could be real problems for plants.

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“Just like any other invasive species that are displaced into a brand new habitat that might not have controls, they’re able to take advantage of that and go gangbusters,” Brad Herrick, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, told Vox News last month.

But Alabama jumpers — which have been spotted in more than half of the United States and at least one province in Canada, according to Vox — have a unique quality that makes them  difficult to overcome.

Vox furthered that Alabama jumpers reproduce asexually, meaning  they can effectively clone themselves without the need for a mate. Furthermore, a single worm can produce as many as 20 hardy cocoons a month; it takes temperatures of at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit for three days to kill the cocoons.

One Twitter user already is commenting on the cataclysmic battle against these subterranean creatures:

The hysteria has left some Americans — including one television editor — confused and alarmed:

However, Austin Little, a University of Illinois horticulture educator, is cautioning that it isn’t time to panic, though he does call for greater prevention efforts.

“It’s not an emergency level yet. But that’s why prevention is important,” Little told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They have the potential to downgrade an ecosystem quickly.”

However, he also acknowledged that the worms likely are here to stay.

“They’re here, and it’s probably something we’ll have to keep a close eye on as we go along. It’s about continued management,” Little said, emphasizing the need for people to remove the worms from their lawns and gardens.

Overall, Alabama jumpers are something — for ecological purposes — that you should keep an eye on, but there’s no evidence they are harmful to humans.

So enjoy your summer, but unless you live in a very hot place, you should be on jumper patrol.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Sheriff's Helicopter Swoops In on People Trapped by Floodwaters, Camera Catches Daring Rescue in First-Person View

Western Journal

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As floodwaters deluged parts of Arizona, a daring helicopter rescue Friday plucked two people from a mobile home that was caught in fast-moving water. Monsoons struck Arizona last week, triggering severe flooding. Drivers who tried to make their way across flooded roads, despite advice to avoid driving, often became stranded. Floodwaters rushed through streets in Flagstaff, Arizona after storms brought heavy rainfall. Weather warnings have been issued to locals residents to warn of more flooding and heavy downpour. pic.twitter.com/X8lHGS8yEK — Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 19, 2021 On Friday, Daisy Mountain Fire and Rescue received a report of a mobile home that was caught in the flooding in New River. The water was too high for any ground units to reach those trapped inside. Authorities reported that water was pouring through the windows of the mobile home, and officials were afraid it would tip over, according to KNXV-TV. That left one option — an air rescue. A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flew to the partially submerged vehicle. In a video released by the sheriff’s office, which dramatically shows the extent of the waters rampaging through New River’s streets, the helicopter closes in on a vehicle with two people sitting on it, only a few feet from the rapidly rising water. We are here to provide #safety to our community but please be mindful of the dangers posed by moving water and entering flooded areas. Here’s a video of our MCSO aviation unit rescuing a driver after his vehicle got stuck in a wash. pic.twitter.com/tO3TL12tPw — Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (@mcsoaz) July 24, 2021 “We are here to provide #safety to our community but please be mindful of the dangers posed by moving water and entering flooded areas. Here’s a video of our MCSO aviation unit rescuing a driver after his vehicle…

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Off-Duty Firefighter Jumped by Mob Who Tell Him It's 'Fight Night' Before Brutal Beating

Western Journal

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Asking for a little old-fashioned respect can be the prelude to a beatdown in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City. The New York Post has released video of a Friday night incident in which a rabid mob of teenagers surrounded and then attacked an off-duty firefighter as he walked his dog near his home in the borough of Queens. Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who founded the civic protection group the Guardian Angels in 1979, posted the video to Twitter. Warning: The following video contains graphic images and language that some readers will find disturbing. Last night in Middle Village a mob of kids attacked a man who asked them to stop blasting fireworks. #NYPD from the 104th precinct were there but did nothing. The community reached out to #NYC Mayoral candidate #CurtisSliwa & the #GuardianAngels to find these vicious teens pic.twitter.com/uVJkBUJ0L1 — Curtis Sliwa for NYC Mayor (@CurtisSliwa) July 24, 2021 The 44-year-old victim, whose name was not released by the Post, said he is among those who have objected to the deterioration of his community,  and taken the dangerous stand of telling teenagers to behave as if rules really mattered. Retribution for preaching civility arrived Friday night. “There were at least 100 kids … I was walking my dog. They just picked me out and approached me,” the firefighter told the Post in a Saturday interview. “One kid took his shirt off and said, ‘it’s fight night!’ He said he was 19 and said, ‘I could fight you.’ Everyone took their cell phones out. There were cell phones everywhere,” the victim said. “They all came at me…A kid came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a bottle and I let go of the dog,” he said. With the dog barking…

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