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Hammerhead Flatworms

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Origin of the Hammerhead flatworm

The Hammerhead flatworm is originally from Indo China and have accidentally been imported into other countries.  The most common way these creatures have been imported is in potting soil,plants and flowers imported from other countries.  Many invasive species have come from other countries by hitching a ride on imports.  Snakes, scorpions and lizards have also been accidentally imported through plants and soil.

Pest Status

Hammerhead flatworms are considered a pest. They do not eat any insect that are considered pest. In fact this flatworm eats earth worms which are a beneficial insect in your garden. Entire populations of earthworms have been removed from an area after a population of flatworms has moved in.

Size and characteristics

Hammerhead flatworms can reach a length of about 20 inches. They are very skinny only reaching only a few millimeters in diameter. This flatworm is a light brown or tan color and sometimes has darker stripes running down its back.  These worms have been found in a grey phase but it is not nearly as common. The head of a Hammerhead flatworm is the most recognized trait that gives it away. It is shaped similar to a shovel or a Bonnethead Shark. These creatures most remain moist so they survive in area where is it not too dry. They can survive in areas that freeze or in area with extreme heat as long as there is moisture for them. The Hammerhead flatworm glides along a layer of mucus secreted in the bottom of the worm. These flatworms are nocturnal but can be found in the early mornings. After a heavy rain the Hammerhead flatworm will forage for new prey.

Hammerhead flatworm photograph

Hammerhead Flatworm
Credit: Jared Davidson

Another Hammerhead flatworm picture

Hammerhead flatworm size
Credit: Jared Davidson

Killing a Hammerhead flatworm

These insects are pest and need to be killed. They are non native and can do harm to your garden. It can be difficult to kill a Hammerhead flatworm. Cutting one into pieces will not kill it. Each piece you cut can grow into a new worm. So cutting a Hammerhead flatworm into many pieces will only make your problem worse. Instead you need to dissolve it or kill it with pesticides. Anything with orange oil will kill the creatures. You can also dry them out by pouring salt on them. Vinegar is another natural alternative to using chemicals are pesticides.  Putting salt, Vinegar or citrus oil in your garden will not prevent these creatures from invading.  It must be applied directly to them.

Hammerhead flatworm video

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