Treated dog hair in my worm farm

by Paul
(Australia)

Compost worms at work

Compost worms at work

I have put some dog hair (along with some other items) in my worm farm and overnight I had my first mass escape of worms. I then remembered that my dog was treated with a monthly spot on Flea and Intestinal worm treatment (Advocate ) 26 days ago. Is this what is likely what is upsetting my worms.

Other items add were some frangipani flowers and some crushed (washed) sea shells

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Jan 22, 2020
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Re: Treated dog hair in my worm farm
by: Stephan

Hello Paul,

thank you for your interesting contribution! Now I have often added human hair as well as dog hair to my worm farms and never had any problems with them at all. On the contrary I noticed that the worms loved the hair and could regularly be found amongst it in quite large numbers. However as you mentioned you medicated your dog about 4 weeks before you took some of its hair to add to your worm bin against ticks, fleas and worms which could possibly make a difference!? As far as I know traces of poison and drugs can be detected in hair for quite some time after they have been consumed by humans and / or dogs. If the hair is the responsible material that animated your worms to flee their worm bin would be interesting to find out. It could as well have been the sea shells if some of the salt has remained on them even after you washed them. Franjipani plants enjoy apparently a slightly acidic environment but I am not sure if the flowers themselves are acidic as well. If they are they could as well have upset the worm herd in your bin.

To find out for sure which of the materials might have upset the worms you might have to make small spot tests where you place a few worms at a time into a container with some worm bedding and add only one of the materials to this bin at a time. Should the worms leave or attempt to leave their bin over night you would have a clear indication what it was that forced them out of their home!

There is as well another option if your worm farm is standing outdoors and you recently had some heavy rain falling onto it. This is usually a situation where worms leave their worm bin in quite large numbers during the night.

Please keep us updated in case you get to the bottom of it.

I am sure many worm composting enthusiasts from our community would love to hear and learn from your experiences.

You are welcome to have a look at the article I wrote about worms leaving their worm bin. The URL is

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/worms-escape.html

Dear Paul I wish you and your family all the best and Gods blessings

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

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