Since the 1950s, those in the American Southwest have looked to the stars and wondered if we are truly alone.

With stories such as the Betty and Barney Hill abduction in 1961, folks have feared a full-on invasion of an advanced race of extraterrestrial beings.

Alien Abudction
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Turns out it's already here.

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Attack of the Worms

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While we may not see flying saucers descend through the atmosphere anytime soon, Arizona is in for a worse fate: earthworms.

The slimy, wiggly creature is well known across the globe and a vital part of agricultural production due to its manipulation of farming soil and the addition of fresh fertilizer.

Worms in Hand
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The issue with these creatures comes from their non-native cousins, which have been finding their way into North America for the past two centuries. These "alien" earthworms disrupt the natural balance that North American earthworms have maintained on farmland.

What Does This Mean for Arizona?

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Non-native earthworms now occupy 97% of North American land. While their prevalence is higher in the northern regions of the U.S., they still pose a serious threat to Arizona farmers and gardeners. For every native earthworm in Arizona, there are two non-native earthworms that occupy the same space.

The invasion has yet to show its true dangers, but they are lurking as long as these alien species continue to make their way into North American soil.

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While not all invasive species of earthworms negatively impact the environment, their presence alone is disrupting the delicate balance of the American ecosystem, and if left unchecked could spell doom for the southwest farming industry.

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