Experts say that most earthworms were imported from Europe to North America by settlers. To stabilize their ships, settlers loaded them with soil that contained earthworms and their cocoons. Glaciers had destroyed most native worm species in North America. Worms hatch from eggs or cocoons.
Earthworms are not the only kind of worm. In general, worms are small animals with a long, soft body lacking appendages. A worm is also the immature form of some insects. Parasitic worms live in the intestines of animals and feed off nutrients there. A person undeserving of respect may be called a worm, as may invasive computer programs.