An invasive species has been spotted in Canada

This is the time of year when a lot of us are getting the backyard and garden ready for the summer. It doesn’t take long to spark interest amongst birds when you start working up the garden. They’re just licking their beak hoping for some delicious earthworms or bugs!

An invasive species has been discovered in Canada that could be devastating to earthworm populations. So far in Western Canada the hammerhead flatworm has not been spotted but after a failed attempt to contain them in Quebec, they’ve now been found in Ontario. These worms typically come from southeast Asia and enjoy soil that is often soft and moist. Experts think these creatures arrived in North America in greenhouse plants.

Hammerhead flatworms can grow up to three feet long and are easily identified by their flat hammerhead look and their colourful, slimy, long body. These worms are considered toxic, however they’re not fatal to humans but can irritate the skin. Pet owners are also being warned about these worms because they can make animals sick if ingested. What makes these things even more terrifying is their regeneration capabilities. Those who choose to cut them up in pieces with a shovel aren’t doing themselves any favours because each segment of that sliced up worm can regenerate and turn into it’s own individual hammerhead flatworm.

It’s highly unlikely we’ll see these worms in Saskatchewan anytime soon, however experts are concerned about their movement now that they’ve been spotted in Ontario. Residents are being told to pick up the worm with a stick or with gloves on, put them in a plastic sealed bag with salt, and to throw it away.

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