Removing Worms, Urine Smell and Cat Feces from Sand

by Tammi Howard
(New Lenox, IL USA)

My family has a summer home on beachfront property. Almost 8 months ago we have been invaded by a colony of feral cats. We currently have approximately 15 cats and I am assuming we will be producing another litter here soon with spring on the way.

I currently work with several means of having this colony of animals removed. Once that is complete I need to determine how to treat the sand which is the largest litter box of worm infested feces and highly potent urine I have ever seen. Urine smell is so strong we can no longer sit outside our home and the worms in the feces are 3x the size of maggots.

I have two concerns. First, I have an 8 year old son that loves to build sand castles and a 2year old pup that loves to play on the beach.

Secondly, the water from the lake provides drinking water for all of the homes around the property.

How to we appropriately go about removing the feces and can the sand be treated to prevent infection to my son, dog and the water?

Vet Suggestion

Hello Tammi,

What a nightmare! I’m afraid there is not a lot you can do to hasten the decontamination process other than physically raking through the sand and removing feces. I can’t think of any type of cleaner/disinfectant that would be safe and effective in an environment like the one you describe.

On the other hand, once the cats are gone I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly the situation improves. The combination of a couple of good rainstorms alternating with some hot, sunny, and dry conditions should get rid of the smell.

I would talk to your pediatrician about what he or she would recommend regarding risk to your children since some worm eggs, especially roundworms, can survive for long periods of time in the environment no matter what you do.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Jul 07, 2013
by: Anonymous

Hope she is transferring the ferals to a safe place and/or having them neutered - or the Feral Cat Assistance Program doing TNR of the cats. And sincerely hoping it is being done the humane way.

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