Finally got a chance to clean up my water trough yesterday - it was getting gunky and had algae - and I noticed some teeny tiny bright red worms at the bottom. Maybe a dozen or so 7 to 8 mm long and just bigger than thick thread.
Any idea what they are and if they are harmful to my horse?
With all the excess water we have been receiving here in Colorado my pens have been a big muddy mess and I did wait longer than usual to clean my troughs...
A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.
If they're midges, they're aka Culicoides, which cause sweet itch in susceptible horses.
I was also told they were mosquito larvae, though. (West Nile carriers). Around here they call them "wigglers".
I don't think you want either one. If you have mosquito fish in your troughs, they will take care of the larvae, or you can buy mosquito "dunks", which are little floating donuts that kill larvae, but aren't harmful to fish or birds or horses.