Invasive hammerhead flatworms have lately been found in Texas as the climate warms.
Locals are urged by officials to carefully rid their homes of the bothersome annelids.
According to the Texas Invasive Species Institute (TISI), sightings of an invasive species of flatworms are being reported.
These worms are not only poisonous to some animals, but they also prey on other worm species.
Invasive Hammerhead Flatworms in Texas
The hammerhead flatworm is believed to have arrived in the nation in the early 1900s in landscaping supplies, but ever since then, its population has skyrocketed in hot, humid regions of the country.
The flatworms, according to experts, can reach lengths of up to a foot or more and are distinguished by having heads with a hammerhead shape.
According to Ashley Morgan-Olvera, the Texas Invasive Species Institute research director, invasive worms typically get pushed out by severe rains since they reside in the same habitat as earthworms.
The institute stated that whenever it receives a report of the invasive worms emerging from their underground ecosystems after the winter, it typically signifies they have been present in the area for some time but have either not been observed or reported by people.
Complete eradication can be tricky as very few treatments lead to the insects’ successful termination, and even when you believe they might be dead, regeneration can lead to the colony growing.
Morgan-Olvera added that they encourage everyone to eradicate the invasive worms from their backyard, but to absolutely declare that the invasive species are removed from the entire county is a highly challenging feat.
She went on to say that splitting a hammerhead flatworm into three parts would actually result in the birth of three young flatworms.
Therefore, authorities urged residents to put the worms they remove in a closed container.
This will ensure that the worms can’t migrate and multiply, per FOX Weather.
The TISI advised wrapping the hammerhead flatworms in a Ziploc bag before discarding them to prevent them from crawling away later.
When parts of the hammerhead flatworms’ bodies are removed, they can still reproduce.
It is advised to get rid of the entire worm because, according to TISI, if a piece of the worm is removed, a new head will start to grow within 10 days, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Also Read: Sea Lamprey Traps at $1.7 Million Will Protect Lake Huron from Invasive Species, Officials Say
Citrus Oil and Vinegar
In addition to physical removal, both citrus oil and vinegar have proven to be efficient in destroying annelids in addition to physical removal.
According to experts, hammerhead flatworms are major predators of common earthworms and, if not controlled, might cause a large population decline.
Due to unhealthier plants and worse ground compositions, the loss of earthworms can result in a lack of nutrients that are supposerd to be present in the soil and increased erosion.
To disseminate awareness of the problem posed by invasive species, the institution is collaborating with a variety of other organizations, FOX Weather reported.
Related Article: 5000 Polynesian Snails Released in Tahiti Might Eradicate Invasive African Snails
© 2023 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.