Triclosan (TCS) is a broad-spectrum bactericide that is used for a variety of antimicrobial functions. TCS is frequently detected in the terrestrial environment due to application of sewage sludge to agricultural land. In the present study, 48-h paper contact and 28-day spiked soil tests were conducted to examine the toxic effects of TCS on the antioxidative and genetic indices of earthworms (Eisenia fetida). The activity of antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT) and the content of the lipid peroxidation product (malondialdehyde, MDA) were determined as biomarkers of oxidative stress in E. fetida. Moreover, single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) was used as a biomarker of genotoxicity. The results showed that triclosan induced a significant increase (P < 0.05) in antioxidative enzyme activities and MDA content. Of all of the biomarkers examined, CAT activity was most sensitive to TCS, and the CAT activity increased significantly (P < 0.05) at bactericidal concentrations of 7.86 ng cm⁻² in the contact test and 10 mg kg⁻¹ in the spiked soil test. The comet assay showed that TCS treatments significantly induced (P < 0.05) DNA damage in E. fetida, and that 78.6 ng cm⁻² caused significant genotoxic effects in the acute test (48 h). Clear dose-dependent DNA damage to E. fetida was observed both in contact and spiked soil tests. These results imply that TCS may have potential biochemical and genetic toxicity toward earthworms (E. fetida). A battery of biomarkers covering multiple molecular targets of acute toxicity can be combined to better understand the impacts of TCS on E. fetida.