Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

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PeteC
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Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

Post by PeteC » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:34 am

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If you come across one don't touch it as it secretes something that can harm your skin and get into your bloodstream. If you chop it the segments regrow into new individual worms. Best to kill with salt of boiling water.
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Published: 10/11/2017 at 06:30 AM
Newspaper section: News https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

A continued slew of discoveries of New Guinea flatworms, on the list of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species, has been reported in several provinces and the capital.

The New Guinea flatworm, also known as Platydemus manokwariis, is a species of large, predatory land flatworm. It has been accidentally introduced to the soil of many countries around the world, including the US and now Thailand.

The flatworms also were found at a farm in Nakhon Ratchasima's Wang Nam Khieo district, raising fears the species might invade the Unesco World Heritage site of Dong Phayayen-Khaoyai Forest Complex.

Nonn Panitvong, the founder of the Siamensis Biodiversity Conservation Group, said Thursday he has received more information from members of the group about discoveries of the flatworms.

"I am concerned over the report of New Guinea worms being discovered at a farm in Wang Nam Khieo district which is not far from Khao Yai National Park.

"There is a strong possibility they might get into the park, posing serious problems to the ecological system and ruining the forest's fertility," he said.

"The discovery of New Guinea flatworms in several locations means they arrived in the country many years ago and no one realised."

He said the worms have spread further than had been expected after the first was identified in Pathum Thani province last month.

Mr Nonn said the reports he obtained stated the worms had been found in Kasetsart University in Bang Khen district, near Krungthepkreetha Golf Club in Saphan Sung district and in some places on Charoen Krung Road in the capital.

In the provinces, apart from Nakhon Ratchasima, they were also found at Prince of Songkla University in Songkhla's Hat Yai district, Sattahip district in Chon Buri and Saraphi district in Chiang Mai.

Mr Nonn said the flatworm likes eating earthworms and shells, with many international studies finding this could lead to its prey going extinct. This is the reason why it has been categorised as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species.

The flatworm's natural habitat is New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, and the shipping of plants and wood is assumed to have caused their spread to Thailand.
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Re: Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

Post by 404cameljockey » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:50 am

Thanks Pete, disgusting!

" it's the same worm that transmits the deadly rat-lungworm parasite, which can lead to a disease that causes meningitis.

"The rats will defecates and snails will eat the feces. And then the flatworm will eat the snails. It's a cycle that repeats within themselves," he said. "If a rodent infestation occurs in your house, and they chew through the a/c vents in your house, they can defecate in the vents and that can transmit to human also through air particles."

The worms can also crawl on fruits and vegetables.

"If you don't wash them, you can contract meningitis that way," Vasquez added.

Experts advise families to keep an eye on your kids and pets in the yard. When your kids come inside, make sure they wash their hands.

"It's really easy to be working in the garden and not wash your hands and have contact with eggs of this species," said Tilford.

The worms like to hide in areas with lots of moisture, such as air conditioning units, water sprinklers or water hoses.

Experts recommend the surefire way to kill the worm is by pouring boiling water on it. Use a plastic bag to pick up and dispose of the body.

"You're killing the worm and you're drying it up," said Tilford. "Some people right away want to think, 'Oh let me throw bleach down or poisons on it.' You're adding more things to the ground and if it doesn't have an effect on the worm, it's not going to help.""

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Re: Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

Post by johnjar » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:09 pm

Yuk? Learn something everyday!

Have seen a lot of these flat worms[ grayish color though] come into yard from the jungle around, I hose wash the yard every morning, and once a week a soapy scub and wash, them snails get washed away also they also climb all over the posts, walls and need scraping off.Another thing when they come into contact my insect powder, they don't like it and shrivel up.

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Re: Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

Post by PeteC » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:42 pm

....."On Nov 6, Siamensis posted the report on its website and called on those who come across this species in Thailand to report it at Facebook page of siamensis.org or to Line ID @sde5284v, so that the experts can compile the data for further management plan."......

More facts, photos and video here: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/new-gu ... s-country/
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Re: Invasive flatworms spreading throughout the country

Post by PeteC » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:28 pm

Don't confuse the common ground or water leech with this flatworm. New Guinea Flatworms only come in shiny black as the above indicates, not grey. Ground or water leeches are generally grey unless they have been sucking blood, in which case they turn darker. Below is the leech you'll see in your garden and on your walls, but many times lighter in colour than this photo.
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