Will worm composting reduce Pet Poop Pathogens

by Elsie Pfleider
(Silang, Cavite, Philippines)

Hello. Will worm composting get rid of / reduce the risk of pathogens (from pet poop) entering the environment or contaminating the surrounding area?

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Dec 12, 2018
Re: Will worm composting reduce Pet Poop Pathogens
by: Stephan

Dear Elsie Pfleider,

as a matter of fact compost worms are credited with the ability to feed on harmful bacteria, nematodes and fungi and in doing so to greatly reduce the amount of pathogens from the organic matter that they are feeding on. This is true as well for dog poop and other pet poop that worms can feed on. There are however some pathogens like for example parasitic worm eggs and viruses that may be present in dog poop that might not be killed by the digestive system of compost worms and be present in their poop (worm castings. However if those worm castings are stored for 12 month or even better for 24 month there should be virtually no surviving harmful pathogens left in the worm compost. We have been using worm compost from dog poop for close to 20 years now and have found that if basic hygienic rules are applied ie: working with gloves and proper bins and equipment like spades and the worm castings are given ample time to rest it was quite save to use worm castings from dog poop as organic soil conditioner and plant food.

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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