Threadworms in soil?

Today I was considerablly startled when I saw 2 tread-like worms in the soil of my allotment, one in my polytunnel and the other near my pumpkin plant. they are the same type, white, as thin as sewing cotton thread, about 2 inches long, head slightly bulged like a gran of rice. At the first I didn't realise it was a worm, until it moved in a way resembling that of a miniature cobra. I handled them carefully with a pair of scissors and hopefully had killed them sufficiently. 

I had the allotment since last May and have been working it ever since. I didn't find these threadworms last year. Now I'm seriously worried that I mought get some kind of parasites diseases by being in contact with the soil. Also I grow spinach and Pok Choi in the polytunnel, now I definitely cannot use them as salads. 

I've used poultry pallets and Fish/bone/blood for the soil last year and this year, so I wounder whether these are the source of the parasites, though I think they shouldn't be. This year I started using cow manure. Could this be the source bringing in the threadworms? Can anyone shed some light as why I have this problem and how can I get rid of it? 


Last edited: 03 June 2016 23:51:55


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,265

    They are nematodes of some kind and are generally harmless or even beneficial.  All soil contains nematodes but most are very small so go unnoticed.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • AnnieGanzAnnieGanz Posts: 3

    Thanks for your reply. That puts my mind at easy. I'm generally scared of crawly things and a bit of a mysophobia, which is not helpful in a gardener. image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Intestinal threadworms have a life cycle that involves both ends of the human digestive tract, nothing else involved, no part of life spent in soil or other animals

  • AnnieGanzAnnieGanz Posts: 3

    Thanks for your post. This must be some other kind of worms. Anyhow, I haven't seen it since, due to the hot weather and dry soil probably. Hopefully that's the end of it no matter what it was, because I really didn't like that. I'm now really careful about washing my hands after I come back from my allotment. image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    soil is full of assorted organisms, large and small. Part of life, unlikely to be harmful.

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