Rare Invasive Species Hatching Season Approaches in New York
Remember these gross. nasty things?
As the days grow warmer, more and more species of various kinds will emerge, crawl, or even hop their way back into the landscape across New York state. Some are familiar, while others may have you wondering what planet they originated from? This is more a case of the latter. And while they are not native of this state or region, they're not exactly exterrestrial...just invasive.
These strange creatures have experts once again urging homeowners to destroy on sight.
Hammerhead Worms Are Back in New York
They've been described as toxic, carnivorous, nasty, and even "immortal" by zoologists. They're actually known by scientific names due to the number of species, but most refer to them as hammerhead worms, shovel worms, or broadband planarians.
See Also: The 4 Most Dangerous Ticks in New York State
They are a predatory species that feed on earthworms and other species. Their appearance and color can vary by species, though some carry a distinctive headplate, hence the moniker hammerhead. The Hammerhead worms are part of a large group of flatworms that belong to the particular file of organisms,
The worms are native to the hot and humid areas of Southeast Asia. But now they've invaded American soil, at first staying primarily in the South. However, as summers in the Northeast grow warmer and more humid, these unwanted visitors have have now been spotted up here as well, including New York state.
Are They Harmful?
According to scientists, these things will even secrete neurotoxins that can irritate your skin a bit, though they're not really harmful to humans. Experts say you can kill them by using vinegar and salt. Don't cut them up though, for they're just regenerate and grow more worms.
Other Invasive Creatures - Asian Jumping Worms
Hammerheads are not to be confused with "Asian jumping worms", another invasive species of worm.
Shifting climates and increased global travel have made it easier for species not native to areas to spread in a fairly short amount of time across the globe, causing varying degrees of environmental destruction.
Other Nasty Creatures Have Also Been Spotted
There's also the Southern Pine Beetle, the Spotted Lanternfly, and the beforementioned Joro Spider (which is scary looking, but relatively harmless).