Worms can and do eat human feces. Gross but true!
Believe it or not, toilets and other indoor plumbing are simply not available to everyone around the world, and in some places, people may relieve themselves wherever possible in the wild. (Consider yourself lucky!)
In that case, it is important to know that, just as is the case with other animal excrement, human feces does decompose into the soil and is eventually eaten by the worms beneath.
Worms do indeed eat human excrement. Human excrement is made up of all of the things that we eat and pooping is the most natural thing for any living creature.
It should come as no surprise then, that mother nature has it all figured out. When we do “take a dump” in nature, rarely as it may be, the earthworms do eat poop and take care of it for us!
Can you compost human feces?
You can indeed compost human feces. Again, gross but true! But should you? That’s a whole different answer.
It is important to know though, that composting human excrement is not as easy as simply putting it on a compost pile, as you would with almost any other organic matter.
In fact, composting human waste along with other organic matter can be quite dangerous.
Human waste, along with certain other types of animal waste, carries certain organisms that can be harmful to others.
By composting human waste with other material from your kitchen, your garden, your house, etc, you are compromising the rest of the materials.
This is the same for your vermicomposting system as it is for your outdoor worm farm.
- Remember that the compost that you are helping the worms to create, will then most likely be used on the very vegetation within your garden and/or those of your friends and neighbours.
- Should the compost be mixed in with human waste, the harmful and dangerous organisms within will be transmitted to the plants and eventually, to the food that you eat from them.
- Now, you may be thinking that that will not be a problem for you, as you do not grow any of your own food and nor does anyone else who benefits from your composting skills.
- Sadly, that won’t be your saving grace. The harmful organisms within the human waste can just as easily compromise the plants themselves that you are growing, as they will damage the soil.
You can of course create your own human waste worm composting bin, but the smell will be awful and the compost will have to be professionally treated before being of any actual use to you or anybody else for that matter.
What is a Composting Toilet?
Composting toilets are becoming increasingly popular due to the growing interest in helping the planet by creating less waste.
The process is fairly simple – however, there are many people who still aren’t aware of these systems!
The amount of water that is needed to simply flush a toilet is quite shocking, and considering the amount of times we each need to use the facilities every day, the waste that we create simply by going to the toilet does seem a bit ridiculous.
A composting toilet is a toilet that transfers the excrement into an attached bucket/box, in which many composting worms live. These specific types of worms eat the waste and transform it into worm castings (earthworm poop) which in itself is used as a rich compost.
More modern worm composting toilets are made with enhanced mechanisms to dispose of the urine and human poop in the safest and most efficient way possible.
They also do so by creating the least amount of bad odours and other off-putting occurrences that would hinder your experience of owning worm composting toilets.
Want to know more about what worms like to eat? Take a look at our guide on worms and bacteria.
Yes, worms will eat human waste and feces but it’s generally a terrible idea for the at-home vermicomposter to even think about.
The risk of pathogens, infections, smell and pests gathering is high. This is one type of earthworm food you would be safe to avoid. Especially when there are so many other more suitable foods that worms eat.