“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.
Firstly, we wish to repeat the rest of the context our reader provided. She states that her house is surrounded by banana trees, which makes the surrounding environment quite damp. She seems to imply that this might have something to do with the appearance of the worms, and she is completely correct in drawing that link. Although one cannot claim this is the case for an unknown species of worm such as this one, it is true that many species of worm-like creatures prefer moist environments. Secondly, we may then want to consider what type of worm this is. The worm appears to be a dark color, perhaps brown or black, and has a flat body with a thicker head. To us, this sounds like it is a flatworm, and moreover that it is specifically a hammerhead worm.
Hammerhead flatworms are predatory creatures, meaning that rather than eat decomposing plant litter like many other species of worms, this one eats other organisms. These include insects, insect larvae, snails and other hammerhead worms. Although we have written plenty of articles about hammerhead worms before, we still find it fascinating to relay the following facts about these curious-looking critters. To kill their prey, hammerhead worms secrete two different types of toxins; the first one renders the target paralyzed, while the second one melts the prey, making it possible for the hammerhead worm to simply slurp up the prey like a beverage.
Facts about hammerhead worms aside, we suppose our reader’s real question was about how to prevent them from entering her home. First, we recommend that our reader search her home for any other kinds of creatures that may frequently visit her home. It could be that the hammerhead worms are following prey into the home, as they are actually able to trace and track their prey by detecting changes in pH levels in the air left behind by the creatures. Then again, they may also be chasing the other hammerhead worms who have gone in there. Either way, if our reader finds critters belonging to different species, moving them out of the home may help the problem. Secondly, we recommend that our reader check the quality of the window screens in her home, as they may be slithering in through a crack in one of these. If there are tears in any of her screens, our reader may want to consider getting them replaced. Thirdly, the worms may also be coming in through a leak in a pipe. While some species of hammerhead worms typically stay above ground, there are species that do dwell underground, and in that case, they would have access to the pipes. If our reader suspects that she does have a leak (the telltale signs being that the worms are often being found in the bathroom or kitchen, where they will have come up from a drain), then she may want to consider calling a plumber. Fourthly, it might be helpful to keep leaf litter away from the outer walls of the home, as many critters could be hiding among those leaves that are attracting the hammerhead worms. Other than these options, we suppose the worms may be coming in through an open window or door, or that they are being brought in on something.
To conclude, the worms our reader is finding in her home are most likely hammerhead flatworms. They can be coming in through torn window screens, open windows or doors, or potentially through a cracked pipe. Either way, they are probably going in there in search of food, either seeking out the hammerhead worms that came before them, or some other creatures that may be infesting or simply lurking in our reader’s home. We hope this article proves helpful to our reader and we wish her the best of luck!
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