Giving feed-through fly larvae-killing chemicals to horses results in the chemicals being mixed evenly in the manure for later kill activity in the manure pile, reducing flies at that site. Now the same technique has been adapted to feeding horses spores of a fungus that will kill developing parasite larvae in the manure.
Researchers in South America have been testing the effectiveness of feeding the spores of Duddingtonia flagrans, a nematophagus (traps/eats nematode worms) fungus. The spores survive travel in the horse’s gastro-intestinal tract intact and are passed with the manure, where they begin to grow.
Research has confirmed greatly reduced fecal egg counts as well as number of larvae on fields, including equine small strongyles. The product is still in development.
Bottom Line: With fears that we may be rapidly losing our options for effective chemical dewormers for horses, this 100% biological, side-effect free, resistance-free option will be very welcome.