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Hammerhead worms are being spotted in Ontario and here's how to deal with them at home (VIDEO)

Hammerhead worms have been making headlines recently, after they were spotted throughout Ontario in recent months.

This week as part of our Village Wild video series, presented by Dietrich Law, we're featuring a video link submitted by Andrew from Toronto.

In this weeks video, you can see an unsightly hammerhead worm making its way rather quickly along the ground. Cue the squirms.

Hammerhead worms have been making headlines recently, after they were spotted throughout Ontario in recent months. Native to Southeast Asia, these creatures likely were brought over accidentally through plant deliveries to nurseries.

According to the invasive species platform, while the worms have been spotted around the province over the past several years, the latest sighting was recorded in Hamilton on May 1. 

Also known as the broadhead planarian, the hammerhead worm can reach lengths of up to three feet (about 91 centimetres). It carries a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, similar to that found in pufferfish. This potent poison can cause tingling or a rash upon contact with human skin and nausea if ingested.

What happens if you come in contact with one:

Despite their rather terrifying appearance, overall, hammerhead worms are not considered dangerous. They won't cause a lot of damage to crops nor are they fatal to humans. But its said that the worm can pose more of a threat to small animals and pets.

What to do if you encounter one:

If gardeners encounter one, they should put on gloves to avoid exposure to their mucus, place the pest in a container or plastic bag that it cannot escape, and do one of the following methods to kill it:

  • Place the container in the direct sun for several hours
  • Sprinkle some table salt in the container
  • Squirt some hand sanitizer in the container
  • Place the container in a freezer
  • Put soapy water in the container

Once the worm is dead, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid getting any mucus in your mouth or eyes. Then dispose of the container or bag in the trash.

It's also important to keep in mind that there's no magic spray to kill the worms, and cutting them up won't solve the problem as hammerheads can regenerate from sections of its body and even multiply.

How to Participate in Village Wild: Video of the month

Submitting your entry is easy. Simply fill out the submission form and upload your video or add a link to the video along with a brief description.


Each month, our Village Life team will randomly select and announce a Video of the Month award winner. The user who submitted the video will receive a gift card as a token of appreciation for sharing their unique footage with our readers.