Breaking News
More () »

'Toxic' worms have been spotted in the Houston area. Here's how to deal with them

If you think cutting the worm will solve your problem, think again.

HOUSTON — They're back.

A "toxic" worm that reproduces when cut has been spotted in the Houston area again recently.

The invasive species is called the hammerhead flatworm or hammerhead slug because of its unique half-moon-shaped head.

They prefer hot and humid climates, which makes Houston the perfect spot for them to live. They can be found in soil, driveways, patios, and sidewalks, especially after heavy rains.

While you may be tempted to cut up the worm, officials say don't. No matter what part you cut, it will begin to regenerate within 10 days. Picking them up with your bare hands is also not recommended because their skin contains toxins.

"In order for it to digest earthworms, it secretes a chemical...and that can cause an allergic reaction on your skin if you're handling it," said Ashley Morgan-Olvera with the Texas Invasive Species Institute.

So how do you eliminate these worms? If you come across one, Morgan-Olvera recommends using a stick, gloves, or a paper towel to place it in a plastic bag. You can fill the bag with salt, vinegar, or citrus oil and freeze it overnight to kill it.

The "snake-like" worms can grow up to 15 inches long and are light or honey in color with a handful of dark stripes.

If you find a hammerhead flatworm, Morgan-Olvera said to send a photo and the address where it was found to invasives@shsu.edu. That way the department can track the data.

KHOU 11 on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Before You Leave, Check This Out