London (change)
9 messages
02/02/2014 at 17:51

I recently noticed a couple of little flatworms on the side of my green compost bin, and found another one in a flower bed today. I have heard of New Zealnd flatworms, but they seem to be quite large, while the ones I've seen were tiny, only 2 or 3 cm long. Then again, I don't suppose they're born large, they must all start out small...

Does anyone know what these little worms can be? Should I be worried?

02/02/2014 at 19:00

Can you get a photo GM?

02/02/2014 at 22:27

'Fraid not, I squashed or chopped up the ones I found! Never thought to photgraph them first.

02/02/2014 at 22:45

GM, I have read that if you put a sheet of non-clear polythene (eg an old compost bag) on the ground and weighed down by stones, NZ flatworms will congregate underneath it.  If you want to photograph them to get a positive ID then you could try that - best to be sure as you don't want to be killing any of the good guys.

02/02/2014 at 23:06

Not aware of flatworms here.  

I am careful about plants I buy, compost etc.  I check as best I can.

Vine weevils are often imported to our gardens by plants and compost too.

Are we all as vigilant as we should be?  I usually thoroughly clean pots but often I skip the process in my eagerness to get jobs done.  

Bob, are flatworms reportable pests now?  

02/02/2014 at 23:28

I've heard of , and read about, flatworms, but have never come across them : thankfully.

02/02/2014 at 23:41

Apparently a screw top jar is not escape proof for them hosta fan.  And that they,can cause a skin rash if touched.  Not too pleasant, 

02/02/2014 at 23:52

They prefer cooler areas, Verdun, so unlikely down your way.  They're not notifiable as far as I'm aware, but DEFRA are collecting info:


03/02/2014 at 07:50

Looking at the DEFRA site, I'm not at all sure that the ones I saw are the NZ ones. I'm in Devon, where there were none recorded on their map (2006, though). The pictures all show large worms, whereas the ones I saw were tiny - but flat in cross-section. I wonder if they could be something else?

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