Parasite-Carrying Worms Invade US | Public Warned

Residents warned not to touch invasive New Guinea flatworms

| Fox News – The dangerous New Guinea flatworm has been found in the home of a Brevard County resident.

The worm was first spotted in 2015 in the Miami metro area and Coral Gables, the first ever sighting in the U.S.

New Guinea flatworms pose a threat to humans and animals alike, the Texas Invasive Species Institute said.

The worm hosts A. cantonensis, also called rat lungworm, which can affect the brain and spinal cord.

The flatworms grow up to 2.5 inches long and are dark brown or black with a tan underbelly. They have a faint stripe down their back and are nocturnal. They adore humidity and are typically spotted in potted plants or under mulch.

If you see one, don’t touch it; the worms produce toxic secretions that may trigger an allergic reaction.

Rather, pour scalding water – 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 degrees Fahrenheit) – to kill them. Dropping them into a container of alcohol or freezing are other ways of killing off these creatures. Read more at Fox News.