How to Get Rid of the Flat Worm

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If you have a flat worm infestation, there are several ways to control or kill populations. The first thing to keep in mind is, if you attempt to chop a flat worm in half or even smash them, the pieces will only regenerate into new flat worms. So, if you chop a flat worm into 7 pieces, you will end up with 7 new worms! You must dissolve the flat worm completely in order to get rid of it. Treatment methods include: salt, vinegar, and citrus oil. These products must be applied directly to the flat worms in order to be effective. Spreading them around the soil or areas where you the worms have been spotted won’t dissolve these parasites completely. You can use a spray bottle for the vinegar and citrus oil methods and you can simply pour the salt over the worms to dissolve them.

About the flat worm

In general, most garden worms are quite harmless and in most cases they can be beneficial to your garden, plants, and trees. Most garden worms help to control destructive termite larvae and grubs, as well as other destructive garden pests. They can also help mix the earths soil by burrowing into the ground or even writhing around in topsoil. While most garden worms are helpful, so they should be left alone, there are some that are dangerous and should be eliminated. One such worm is the flat worm (land planarian).

The flat worm does not help to control other pest populations as most worms do. They actually kill and eat earthworms, exclusively. The flat worm is considered a parasite and it devours its only prey by pushing its throat outside if its mouth and snapping up any part of the earthworm’s body. It melts the earthworm’s body with an enzyme and slowly eats it until the earthworm is completely consumed.

The flat worm can reach up to 20 inches long and its body is very slimy, which allows it to move along the ground in a gliding motion. The body secretes mucus from glands on its belly or underside. The flat worm is native to Indo-China, but it makes its way around the world by traveling in greenhouse plants. For the most part, flat worms can survive just about anywhere, so no one region is 100% safe. While this unique worm can survive in scorching hot to freezing climates, they may suffer somewhat in drier regions.

Flat worm sightings are common in the early morning hours, especially after a hard rain. They are nocturnal however, and they love wet surfaces. This means that they will stick to just about any surface that’s wet or moist, as well as on tree branches and trunks. Keep in mind that there are several varieties of land planarians. Two of the most common sightings are the hammerhead flat worm and the flat worm with a pointed head (instead of a hammerhead), with a dark brown body. The flat worm is usually medium-brown in color with dark markings or stripes. Some worms may appear gray to greenish/gray as well. All types feed on earthworms, so beware.


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Author: The Top Worm

2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of the Flat Worm

  1. These worms have been on the news here in SWFL. And I just saw them on the news a day or two ago. I went to take my dog out at 5am this morning and my dog found it first. Now that I’ve called the FL Wildlife FWC to inform them, I went online to do some research. I found that they also might have a shell. OMG! I’ve had these invasive worms since last year!! Usually at night or early morning when we would be in and out our front door we would here something crackle under our feet. I killed 2 in the shell right outside my front door. I’m going to spray vinegar and use salt. But I hope the FWC can also do something. Living in Florida we have been subject to other invasive or harmful insects like the mosquito carrying the Zika Virus, etc. I hope we can get rid of these things cause I have to nosy dogs and better protect our borders in the future from things like this. The US is precious and beautiful.

  2. I have an infestation of flat worms, I’ve seen them on the leaves of my calla lilies, also on my fire cracker plant and have seen them in the process of eating an earth worm. I spray every one I can find, every morning I looked under all of my potted plants, bricks and rocks, basically anything they can hide under. I’ve read everything I could find on flat worms but none says anything about them eating plants. They do eat certain plants, usually plants that aren’t native to the area, or at least that’s what I’ve noticed here in western NC. Spraying them with vinegar is the easiest most effective way I’ve found to kill them but even though I do the same routine morning and night, I still see no sign of slowing down the population. I’ve lived in this County for forty years and have never seen a flat worm until I bought this house a year ago. Had I known about the flat worm problem I don’t think I would have bought this house. There are very few earth worms here , I’ve only seen maybe a dozen all summer. Is there anything or any other way to keep them out of my yard ?

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