Ann C

by Ann
(Buff Point NSW)

Hi, I've recently installed a Dog Poo worm farm in my garden and over the past couple of months have added the starter coir material as supplied with the product, 2000 worms followed (intermittently) by a couple of compost buckets of vegetable scraps, wet cardboard.

The dog poo is added every couple of days after a poo parade in the back yard. On opening the bin today the bin was crawling with white maggots which I'm thinking are flies.

I'm wondering if I should leave it as is (it would possibly become a fly farm instead), spray insecticide to kill the maggots and perhaps also the worms if there are any, or clean it all out and start again.

Hoping you can give me some advice.

Many thanks
Ann C

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Apr 12, 2020
Dog Poop in a Worm Bin
by: Pauly

Hello Ann,

Adding dog poop in a worm bin (the end product in known as fecal worm castings) is not something I recommend to those creating worm castings for use in their food gardens.

I'm not saying you can't do it. People ARE, but it can be unsafe in such high amounts or concentrations of animal feces. When I say animal, I'm mainly referring to cat, dog, and even human manures.

Allow me to quote an excerpt from my book The Worm Farming Revolution discussing these manures.

---Excerpt start

"What makes dog/cat feces so different than manures from ruminant animals is that they digest their food differently. They have different microbes and amino acids within their gut. The process is completely different.

Their feces can contain higher amounts of harmful pathogens, like that of humanure, containing salmonella and e-coli.

It’s not always a guarantee that worms will get rid of (fully process) all harmful pathogens. They’ll definitely be transferred from the worm bin and out into your garden.

If worms were fed these pathogens in a controlled setting, then most likely everything that came out of the business end of the worm would contain very beneficial microbes. Again, there’s just no guarantee that the worms will devour every harmful pathogen in the material.

Burying the worm castings deep into soil is no guarantee either. Plants feed on these harmful microbes and there have been some stories of illnesses from these pathogens found inside the plants, but few to my knowledge.

I do believe, though, that most of the threat can be avoided through simple kitchen hygiene and a regular practice of hygiene in handling the feces.

Overall, I think your chances of getting sick are slimmer than anything else. The longer you practice the implementation of fecal worm castings into your food plants, the greater the risk."

---end excerpt

Using fecal worm castings on ornamental plants, trees, shrubs, grass, etc is safer and warranted in my opinion.

After all, the feces HAVE to go somewhere naturally, right?

Flies are attracted to the feces as this is one of their favorite food sources. Flies are nitrogen eaters and FRESH poop contains a high amount of it.

Generally, any hot manure should be pre-composted for about 2-3 weeks before feeding to worms.

I also talk a great deal about hot and cold manures in the book (and what animals produce them). Hot manures should always be pre-composted while cold manures can be fed fresh to worms in moderation.

I would extract all the worms you can and place them in another worm bin containing only moist carbon. Allow the old bin to run it's course.

When all maggots and flies are gone and the bin is composted, you can feed the fly larvae poop (aka insect frass) to the rest of your worms.

Only feed your worms pre-composted manures from ruminant animals (chickens are and exception) for the purpose of using castings on food crops.

I know the desire to want to use the composted feces from the worm bin in your garden, but there are so many great and abundant choices out there like, dead leaves, kitchen scraps and shredded paper products. These will grow awesome plants for a garden. TRUST ME...

Just look at my Garden Pics.

Again, this is just my opinion and not the authority on pathogens and fecal matter.

I hope this is somewhat constructive for you.

Thanks for writing,

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