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the mucus can cause a reaction on human skin. My boffin advised wearing rubber gloves when on 'safari'. He also advised dropping them into a jar of bleach solution. This also kills and is less smelly than salt water.
When they are ready to reproduce, they develop a lump. The skin splits and one of the black eggs slips through the slit. It looks like a shiny black bead. The egg contains up to 10 tiny flatworms which can survive immediately. They grow on until they split the egg and then go off on the hunt.
That's really good advice. The more we know about them and the way they reproduce the better well be at getting rid of them.
But has anyone else got some in their pond. These too give a stinging effect when picked up and they move really fast?
I think they will be leeches Rayskip. They look very similar.
I hope so. I found an adult NZ flatworm last autumn but no sign of any more, but I keep on looking! Thanks.
I've never seen one, touch wood.
I think that the best reason ever for growing as much as possible from seed and not importing plants.
Does anyone know if the eggs survive the composting process for the rubbish that is being sold back to us as recycled compost?
Tis forum has been very helpful. Thanks
I do not think so fidgetbones.
Although some research is currently being done into their natural predators (not enough due to minimal funding), at the moment there is no known treatment for eradicating these worms. The best you can do is trap them, kill them by squashing, crush any eggs you find, and avoid swapping pot plants with others unless you are absolutely sure that the pot and rootball contains neither worm nor egg.
If flatworms are already in your garden Do not move plants or soil unnecessarily. Infested or suspect potted plants can be treated by: ??? Removal of the soil from the root ball and re-potting in sterile pots and growing media. ??? Immersing the pot and root ball in warm (30°C) water for 40 minutes. ??? Placing the plants in a warm environment e.g. 30°C for 12 hours. The last two treatments will result in the death of NZ flatworms. However, if egg capsules are present or suspected it will be necessary to repeat these procedures after 14 days, so that any hatchlings are destroyed.
I'm really glad of that advice, Edd, as I was hoping to send some hostas to another forum member, and plants down to the Somerset Levels. I have a large dog bath with hot running water, so will try the immersion process first. Good to see the eggs to know what to destroy, Thank You.
I found one about fifteen years ago under a heavy pot Here outside Dublin. I assume it came in with a bought plant. Never found another here or on the allotment, tho the eggs seem oddly familiar, like berries.
I've never seen one - hope I'm not talking them up - fingers are very crossed!!!
Are these flat worms actually from NEwZealand? Perhaps they have had them for Quite a few years. Does anyone know what the effects are after all this time and what do they turn to eat when the earthworms are depleted.