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Nematodes (wee Worms)


#1

As strange topic for the SOTA Reflector you may think. And so would I but bear with me.

On activating GM/SS-178 on the 24th Feb I noticed that any part of my equipment that was sitting on the wet ground was infested with small white worms. These wriggling creatures where about 1mm in diameter and about 10mm in length.

Now in reading Neil 2M0NCM’s route info (see GM/SS-178 Summit Info) before planning my own route I noted he had mentioned he had come across these little creatures. Thus I was alerted to them, otherwise I think I would have considered them as just strands of moss - but this moss moved.

Having never come across this scenario before I thought it specific to SS-178. That was until I was activating GM/SS-081 & SS-103 on Monday (5th) this week. The same thing on both sites.

It appears that the worms reside mainly in the wetter mossy areas, as I kept the battery pack and FT817 case on top of dry grass, without any infestation, but the plastic mat I was sitting on, on turning it over was infested.

Questions:

Has anybody else come across this scene on the hills?

Would I be right in thinking they are some form of animal parasite like Lungworm (infecting sheep & deer)?

And why haven’t I seen this in over 40 years of hill wandering. Is there a potential epidemic of these things or haven’t I been looking hard enough?

Thanks for ‘hanging’ in there on this diverse topic.

73

Jack
GM4COX


#2

In reply to GM4COX:

Hi Jack,

How odd!

Last weekend I activated Ingleborough G/NP-005. I was part way through my activation and I looked at my boot, and there was some funny white ‘stuff’ on it. Upon closer inspection, I realised the white ‘stuff’ was moving! I also have no idea what these wee worms were, but I did do a search on the 'net when I got home. From your description, they where the same creature as you have described.

I keep tropical fish and I have sometimes seen nematodes on the glass, introduced by contaminated live food. The worms on the hill looked very similar, but much larger, some of the bigger ones were at least 15mm to 20mm long.

73
Colin
M0CGH


#3

In reply to GM4COX:

As strange topic for the SOTA Reflector you may think. And so would I
but bear with me.

On activating GM/SS-178 on the 24th Feb I noticed that any part of my
equipment that was sitting on the wet ground was infested with small
white worms. These wriggling creatures where about 1mm in diameter and
about 10mm in length.

Haggis embryos?

I’ll get me coat :wink:

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#4

Yuk.

Even worse are those disgusting creatures that spill out of the railway carriages onto the summit of GW/NW-001.

Tom M1EYP


#5

In reply to M1EYP:

LOL Tom - good job I didn’t bring my cuppa through with me!


#6

In reply to M0CGH:

Could they be these?

http://www.petcaregt.com/petcare/whiteworms.html

apparently they are not rare. Funny idea to keep them as
pets though.

Rick.


#7

In reply to GM4COX:

I think they may be part of the Planarian family of mini worms. Some species can live in aquariums and other species are terrestrial and live in wet ground, moss covered logs etc etc…
I can remember looking it up when we had some in our aquarium.

73
Jonathan
2E0CTW


#8

In reply to GM4COX:

Having never come across this scenario before I thought it specific to SS-178. That was until I was activating GM/SS-081 & SS-103 on Monday (5th) this week. The same thing on both sites.

Yes, damn nuisance these wee things, they get just about everywhere and just when you think you have got rid of them you find more crawling about in the seams and out of wee crevasse. Having a handy lochan around gets rid of most of them but not a good idea to chuck the whole rucksack in the water.

I have now come across many hills with them mostly in the Galloway region but up the west coast of Scotland they raise their squirmy wee heeds! First time I discovered them I put everything possible in the bath and gave a good rinsing, did think about hosing everything in the garden but not knowing what these wee creatures were and if they would harm my cats I opted for the bath.

I’m not sure if they are the white worms Rick mentioned as the ones I have seen are only about 10mm in length max but these could be young ones.
But you have been warned – don’t leave you sandwiches anywhere near the ground!

73 (million of them per m²)

Neil 2M0NCM