If You See One Of These In Arkansas – Kill It Immediately
Officials say "don't touch it" but yet they want you to kill it, what is it? The very toxic hammerhead flatworm, which is slowly invading Arkansas.
In fact, if you see one of these anywhere, not just in Arkansas, don't hesitate to kill it. This is an invasive species that is consuming the beneficial critters in our soil. The hammerhead flatworm looks just like it sounds, a long tubular sort of flat body, up to 12 inches long, with a head at the end that flattens out more and is much wider than the body, almost spade-like.
The hammerhead flatworm is carnivorous and feeds on snails and earthworms, they are very toxic and can make you quite ill if you handle one with your bare hands. These worms contain a dangerous neurotoxin similar to the one found in pufferfish. Simply touching this worm can bring on violent illness.
Symptoms can include:
- Body numbness
- Stomach pain
According to the University of Arkansas, these pests need to be exterminated whenever you see one but again, don't touch them with your bare hands, use gloves. Cutting them into pieces will only create more of them so that's not the answer either.
To kill hammerhead worms you must:
- put the worm into a bucket or baggie with salt or vinegar.
- or very hot water.
- you can squish them, but that's kinda messy.
Trying to keep track of these worms is not an easy task, but you can help science by reporting their location here.
Want to know more about hammerhead worms, like, how do they eat and digest their food? Check out this video: By the way... Ewwww!
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