Have you seen these worms in your yard?

Hammerhead worms are now popping up in Tennessee yards.
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:45 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 10:31 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - You’ve probably heard of hammerhead sharks, but have you heard of hammerhead worms? The worms are popping up in yards across the country, including right here in Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee Entomologist Dr. Frank Hale said he had received calls from Tennesseans who have seen these worms in their backyards.

“Over the last month or so, we’ve had a lot of rain in Tennessee and these things come to the surface and people see them out and about,” said Dr. Hale, “so they are out there.”

Dr. Hale said the semi-tropical organisms are not native to the United States. They also can regenerate over time; if you try to cut them in half or in pieces they will regenerate.

The hammerhead worms are dangerous to other animals like earthworms and slugs.

While slugs are more considered pests than anything, Dr. Hale said earthworms are important for yards.

“Earth worms, we want to keep because they help create the soil and they’re beneficial in many ways. And they also break down organic matter.”

Dr. Hale recommended if you see the worms in your yard, to get rid of them.

“If you see them, I would try to get rid of them.”

If you are wanting to get rid of the worms, Dr. Hale recommended spraying citrus oil and vinegar or salt water on the worms. He recommends wearing gloves if you decide to dispose of them.

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