It seems to us that almost every summer, the flatworm becomes the target of news stations who want to spread mass hysteria and inject fear into the hearts of those who might not know any better than to trust the words of journalists twisting the words of experts. We’re here to set the record straight and clear the name of flatworms. This year, hammerheads are being targeted. They have been targeted in the past, but so has the New Guinea flatworm. In this article we will be responding to a “ CBS article on hammerheads” published by Li Cohen.
“This worm was crawling up my shower window”, writes PG in her submission regarding the beige-colored, worm-like critter pictured below. “I think it resembles the invasive hammerhead flatworm but does not have the crescent moon-shaped head. Do you know what type of worm it was? I’m located in southeast Texas.” From the photo, we cannot determine a specific identification, though we agree with PG that it could be a flatworm, as there are species of flatworms with this coloration. We do not agree that it is a hammerhead, for the very reason that PG gives: it does not have the eponymous hammerhead.
“I keep finding what looks to be small worms,” writes this reader in her submission regarding an array of creatures. “But, while walking through my apartment after a VERY thorough cleaning, I felt like I had stepped on a piece of glass. I couldn’t find anything until I swept the area (after already mopping it three times), and what I saw in my dustpan threw me into a major panic attack. I used my Google Lens to see if I could figure out what I was looking at. Every article I could find said it was hammerhead flatworms that I was looking at. The apartments I live in have had a BAD infestation with bed bugs, and I have recently been cleaning up dead bugs and black spots that keep appearing everywhere around my apartment. I have not seen a live one, although I have woken up with bites.”
“I found this critter in my kitchen last night”, writes this reader about the worm-like creature pictured below. “I live in Phoenix, AZ, where it is very hot and dry (usually about 115 in the summers) – low desert. We had a big rainstorm come through over the weekend and I’ve started finding worker/swarmer termites since the storm on the first and second floors (not sure if that’s related, so I wanted to include it). I have a good amount of houseplants, two of which are new. They were in my garage yesterday and the night before and I brought them in last night after treating them with a systemic insecticide and letting the soil dry out after watering through. They were brought in about a half hour before I saw the critter, and they were kept separate in another room about six feet from where I found this guy. (Again, not sure if related and wanted to mention it.) The critter has two clear antennae (pincers? snail-like eyes?) that are barely visible in the video. It’s a brownish color on top with a light/clearish underside. It appears to be mildly “fuzzy”, not sure if those are hairs or legs or something else. I’d appreciate any insight you can provide.”
“These tiny worms have been found in the bathtub of our new house after showering”, writes Lucy about the worm-like critter pictured below. “A few at a time, we picked it up with a tissue and put it in the toilet so you could see it move. Please help!” Based on the photo alone, which actually captures the worm in good detail, we would say this looks like a hammerhead worm. However, when we take Lucy’s context into account, we begin to wonder what it could actually be. It is odd (but not impossible) that these hammerhead worms were found in a bathtub; hammerhead worms are terrestrial worms, meaning they live on land, and would not survive underwater like other species of flatworms.
“Is this a hammerhead worm!?” asks this reader in her submission about the gray, slimy-looking worm-like creature pictured below. We actually cannot tell if it is one or two organisms, though we suppose it does not matter much. “I was horrified to find it in my toilet! Thanks.” We understand how our reader feels, as it is never a pleasant experience to find uninvited guests in one’s home, let alone in one’s toilet. And to confirm: yes, this is a hammerhead worm. Our reader may already be familiar with hammerhead worms, as she correctly identified this one, but in case she is not, the basic facts include: Hammerhead worms are predatory worms, though they are not significantly harmful to humans or pets (unless one keeps insects or snails for pests). They feed on insect larvae, snails, slugs, and other hammerhead worms. They are excellent trackers and possess amazing capabilities, such as the ability to regenerate severed body parts and to liquefy their prey.
“I observed hammerhead flatworms on our patio and in our rock garden yesterday in Nolensville, TN”, states this reader in her submission to us. She asks that we give her some tips as to how to “evict them”.
“I found two black flatworms”, states this reader about the creature pictured below, which indeed has a glossy black body, with a light gray/white underside. “I already am infested with the hammerhead worms, now what is this worm?”
“Have you ever seen one of these?” asks this reader in Florida about the gray worm pictured below. “It was quickly decomposing and it had goo outside that was melting away”, he adds.
“On the carport we found a dead worm: thinking it may be a hammerhead??!” exclaims this reader in her submission, which is unfortunately not accompanied by a photo of the worm she is referring to. The worm was found when our reader was vacationing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
“My grandson found this worm in our yard in the Sacramento area, and we haven’t been able to find it on your site. Could you please identify it?” is all this reader asks in her submission concerning the beige and brown, long worm with the spade-shaped head in the picture below.
Woman Worried for Her Health Believes Home is Infested with Bed Bugs, Hammerhead Worms and Roundworms
“I keep finding what looks to be small worms” states this reader, who is worried about the organisms in the photos below. In her submission, our reader brings up bed bugs, flatworms, and roundworms, so we will address all of these in this article.
“Is this a hammerhead flatworm?” asks this reader for her friend in Southeast Texas. She is asking about the long, thin worm below, which is brown, with lighter brown stripes running the length of its body.
“What’s your advice about disposing of dead worms?” asks this reader in her query concerning the discovery of “flatheads” on her enclosed patio. She asks specifically if a “flathead worm” can “come back to life or reproduce” after it has dried out or died “on the cement”.
“I’m seeing these worms daily in my house,” says this reader about the creatures with “flat” bodies of around 2-2.6-inches and “thicker head[s]”. Our reader is growing uncomfortable as she fears the worms may enter her body and she asks for any suggestions we can provide as to how to prevent their entry into her home.
“I found a dead, black hammerhead worm in a shiny, clear substance in my garage. Does this worm secrete this substance?” asks this reader in her query. The photo she sent us displays a long, thin worm lying in a pool of the aforementioned shiny substance.
“My neighbor found this worm attached to her dog, wrapped around its leg,” says this reader about the creature displayed below. The worm is very long, black in color (with a gray underside), and appears to be a flattened, rather than tubular, shape.
Two hammerhead worms were found on this reader’s patio in Oak Ridge, Tennessee within the span of two years. The first one is very long and black in color, while the second one is shorter, with a beige-brown body.
“Flatworm?” asks this reader, who found a peculiar critter in his shower. The critter in question appears to be black in color, with a gray/beige underside, and a thin, but long body that is able to curl up on itself.