Editor's Viewpoint: An unwelcome visitor that our country can ill-afford
It may not be much to look at - flat, pointed at both ends and slimy - but the New Zealand flatworm is a deadly and expensive predator.
Its prey are the earthworms which break up and enrich the soil in Northern Ireland's gardens and fields. As a result of its killing spree, soil quality is deteriorating as the number of earthworms has fallen. It is estimated that there has been a decrease of 20% in the number of earthworms in areas colonised by the invader.
Conservation groups say the flatworm costs Northern Ireland £34m a year by ruining the soil. Unable to burrow into the ground, it seems the only holes they can make are in our pockets.