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Put Her Mind At Rest

I have had some Horse Manure rotting down in a large drum at the bottom of the garden for some months and went and had a look this p.m. The top four inches looked like a dark, rich dirt and below was the manure, and hundreds of worms. But also on  top were the empty "egg shells" of ( I hope) Equine Bot fly.  My partner has now done some Googling and is worried that if we use this on our veg beds we could catch equine worms or something similar or worse.    Can people please put our minds at rest, or are there risks in using this manure? Thanks


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,455

    Don't think it'll be the eggs -  think it'll be the empty pupa cases as the larvae have now turned into flies.  I used to keep horses and I've never heard of human infection via manure.  Where humans have been infected it's been by getting the eggs from off the horse's coat onto your hands and then swallowing them (poor hygiene!!!).  

    You could always try ringing your local equine vet for an opinion, if your partner would like a professional view.  However, they might charge you.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    This may not put her mind at rest-but too see empty "egg shells" then go to google to identify without seeing what hatched out is a bit of a leap

    Also what would you have done if you hadn't noticed these or not had internet access

    And bear in mind that manure has been incorporated into soil for hundreds or years without as a far as I am aware no ill effects-providing you use sensible precautions  like hand washing

    Then what are equine worms?-do they infect humans and how from eating something that is grown in the soil will you catch these

    What I am really saying is far too many assumptions with no real evidence of anything wrong or to worry about

    But then I am not a scientist or doctor so make of this what you will but to me it is a bit like self-diagnosing a headache as a brain tumour because google says it is a possibility

    Google is not always your friend

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,010

    Equine bot flies lay very small eggs on horses legs which horses lick and swallow. They hatch out inside the horse and form fat pink grubs, which you can sometimes see in the droppings after giving the horse a worm medicine. Horses can have other worms too and the responsible owner will treat their horse regularly. However, worms don't live longer than a few months in droppings and a lot less if exposed to the sun. Also, most horses don't have worms due to the diligence of the owners and after the time it takes to rot the manure for the garden it is free of worms. Vegetables grown in manure don't catch worms and are safe. I don't think people catch horse worms, but they can catch dog worms. I've used horse manure for years, the only side effects being the weeds from the seeds in the hay or pasture that have survived the whole process, eg thistles.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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