Many people enjoy piddling around their property for the simple pleasures it provides by being outdoors and working with plants and the soil.
It’s not unusual to encounter different types of insects and worms, mostly earthworms. Worms, in general, are typically not dangerous to humans. However, a new worm showing up in Kentucky called the hammerhead worm does pose a threat to humans because of a toxin it has on its skin. Jonathan Larson, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky explains.
click to download audioThese slithering, slimy flatworms have a hammerhead shark like head and are known to destroy their victims by emitting a neurotoxin to stun them and an enzyme to liquefy them so they can be eaten.
click to download audioThe worst part is that hammerhead worms have no known predators. Most animals won’t eat them because they secrete a foul slime. Larson says they should not be used for fishing.
click to download audioLarson goes on to say there are proper ways to destroy the worm.
click to download audioWhile the worm is slowly spreading across Kentucky, the public can help track it
click to download audioWhile hammerhead flatworms might be present in your garden and backyard, there are usually no obvious signs of their presence outside of seeing a specimen. So keep your eyes peeled and always wear gloves when working in your garden.