But to red wigglers, it’s nature’s way of telling the worms that the food is ready to eat. But that doesn’t mean you can toss any moldy and crusty waste onto the compost pile.
To make matters worse, putting the wrong rotting food items in your worm bin can also lead to other issues (source). As previously mentioned, red wigglers are led to their next meal by the tiny sensory cells in their mouths.
If something is rotten, that means it’s already passed the threshold of being a source of nutrition and is beyond human consumption. The red wigglers will bypass this snack and let the sensory cells lead them to something more delicious and nutritious.
This means it’s “anaerobic.” Food that’s completely rotten will have zero oxygen, making it unhealthy and dangerous for the worms. We’ve discussed the fact that molded and rotten food can be eaten by red wigglers.
If you’re adding moldy food to your compost pile and noticing that it’s going unbeaten then clearly, it’s not appealing to your worm palettes. While a healthy worm bin rarely attracts pests, excessive food items can lead to rodent issues, among other problems.
While it’s usually perfectly fine to compost rotting fruits and veggies in a traditional compost pile, adding the wrong food items to a worm bin in excess only leads to avoidable issues. And trust me, cleaning the worm bin isn’t exactly a fun task.
But, if you reach this point, watch this short video on how to clean out your vermicompost bin. A happy and healthy bunch of red wigglers should smell earthy, just like soil.
In general, it’s best to avoid pet waste, citrus, meat, fish, and dairy (source). If your worm bin is outside, excessively rotten and moldy food that goes uneaten will undoubtedly attract an undesirable group of pests.
Aside from the mess they can make, all these animals digging around in your compost pile will cause the pH of the soil to be unbalanced. Of course, you can reduce many these intruders by maintaining your compost bin indoors but managing the food quantity and selection will still be important to prevent odors and smaller pests that can find their way indoors.
Allergy sufferers know that mold is just about the worst thing to hit your nose. An excess of mold in the red wiggler bin isn’t good for your worm family, but it’s especially bad for your own breathing.
We know different animals rooting around in the vermicompost can upset the pH of the soil, leading to an unbalancing of the microbiomes and impeding the composting process. Follow these best practices on what you are adding to your bin to help the ecosystem that your worms live in within balance.
Red wigglers will eat a moderate amount of moldy or rotting food so long as it’s not in excess. Remember that as food decays, it loses its nutritional value and as a result, it will become less attractive to the worms.
They prefer slightly decomposed food, but it can reach a point where it is no longer offers the nutrients they are craving. This occurs most often due to continuously having more food in the bin than the worms can consume.
The simple truth is, vermicomposting is not difficult and can be an enjoyable way of making good use of kitchen waste to create nutrient-rich soil amendments for your lawn, garden, or flower beds. It’s generally a better fertilizer or soil amendment than manure and is good for the environment.
Red worms are excellent at breaking down decaying organic materials, creating a nutrient-rich substance for your garden. Placed directly into a garden with nothing for them to eat, red worms will likely die or move to other areas where they can find food and an environment more suitable for their needs.
They thrive in shallow environments such as plastic bins, fitted with worm bedding, a little soil and the same types of matter you would use in a standard compost bin: yard clippings and plant-based kitchen scraps. If you see worms atop the lawn or garden surface at night, it's these earthworms or nightcrawlers feeding upon decaying matter.
Create a trench near the garden plants 6 to 8 inches deep -- it can be any length or width. Shred a bunch of corrugated cardboard or newspaper to create a moisture-absorbing layer for the trench, then add some partially decomposed plant matter from the yard.
Add some kitchen vegetable scraps, red worms and a layer of cardboard or yard matter atop that. The worms will enjoy their new environment and recycle the decaying matter into nutrients for your garden plants.
A simpler version involves placing decaying plant scraps around the garden, then adding worms, but this may be unattractive. Add crumbled strips of newspaper and corrugated cardboard as worm bedding, a small bit of soil to help the worms' digestion and then scraps from yard plants and plant-based kitchen scraps.
Our famous Wigglers are amazing composters that will turn any ordinary garden into a beautiful lush that produces much bigger and healthier looking foods. Most worms you’ll encounter won’t pose any threat to you or your pets.
They are tiny creatures that typically grow to about 1 millimeter long, and for that reason, they are hard to spot with the naked eye. The good ones are predatory and prey on other invertebrate pests including parasitic nematodes.
Bad nematodes are parasitic and can inflict just about any animal including humans, pets and marine wildlife such as whales. These worms can be seriously harmful to your liver if they grow and multiply for long periods of time.
Tapeworms dwell in the intestines of animals and live off of food that passes through the digestive tracts. Inchworms and canker worms (moth larvae) are destructive to crops and considered a pest by many farmers and organic gardeners.
One of the most common ways people and their pets are introduced to parasites is through infected fleas and rodents. It’s important to have your pets checked on a regular basis for fleas so that you can eliminate the problem before it starts.
All it takes is a few fleas to leap off your pet onto your dinner plate, and you may find yourself in a lot of discomfort shortly thereafter! Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is a vermicomposting company located in the USA.
The above facts and information was gathered to spread awareness about the beneficial and harmful effects that come to us through different species of worms. Vermicomposting is a form of composting that involves the natural process of decomposition using various species.
The Red Wiggler is one of the few earthworms that produces the exact chemical makeup that the soil needs. The Worm Castings contain abundant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Since people often confuse traditional nightcrawler earthworms with red wigglers, we needed a better way to identify these compost worms at all stages, which is why we created this interactive guide. Red wigglers will have several stripes or rings down the entire length of the worm’s body.
During the reproductive phase, the two of them will bind together and secrete albumin, which will form into a cocoon. Both worms exchange sperm, which is then placed into the albumin sac, with the eggs and amniotic fluid.
The red wiggler cocoon is tiny, about the size of a grape seed. The cocoons start as clear, then turn white, yellow, and finally reddish-brown when ready to hatch.
As long as all the conditions are correctly met, the earthworm should start to peek its head out. Temperature between 65-85 Degrees Farhenhieght 80-90% moisture content Proper air circulation pH Neutral, or 7.0 (they can survive between 4.2-8.0 or higher alkalinity).
After the eggs are fertilized inside the cocoon, they start turning into Zygotes. The Cocoon is surprisingly adaptive to most weather conditions; in fact, the pupae can even remain frozen for years with all the life intact when it reaches ideal temperatures.
The recommended temperature is between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit with a moisture level of 80-90 percent. You need to have adequate space and food for them to reproduce, and there are no dominant traits to take into consideration.
The larvae are not as ideal for composting as the fully developed Red Wiggler (Eugenia Fetid). Looking similar to their cousin, they are often confused with other earthworms such as the European Nightcrawler, or Eugenia Forensic.
The Common Garden Worm (Eugenia Forensic), or European nightcrawler, can easily be confused with the red wiggler. The Red Wiggler looks closer to the Eugenia Andrei, which looks identical except for having a slightly darker reddish tint, and less pronounced stripes on the worm.
A unique characteristic of the Red Wiggler is that it will secrete a foul-smelling liquid to rid itself of possible predators. The Red Wiggler will consume up to half of its weight in nitrogen (food waste) and paper or leaves (carbon) daily.
Start with smaller amounts of food and increase servings until you find the right balance. It would be best if you never fed your worms things like Citrus Fruit, Meats, bones, spices, grease, dairy, or non-biodegradable materials.
Although it can be tempting to throw all of your food waste into the composting bin, it will undoubtedly lead to a disaster. Their muscles are the only thing that helps them grind food into a smooth pulp to digest.
If you have trouble remembering all of this an infographic refrigerator magnet may help (link to Amazon). Okaying ModerationNeverCornXCardboardXPearsXRiceXOrangesXSteakXEggsXFoods with additivesXCabbageXCeleryXBeansXBurgersXFrench FriesXRaw Potatoes Wigglers need oxygen to survive; they produce carbon dioxide like most other land animals.
The oxygen passes through their skin, and carbon dioxide returns to the environment. It does not take much, but that slimy mucous membrane over the body of the worm is what is helping filter the oxygen into its bloodstream.
If you see your worms surfacing a lot, then something in the soil may be causing this drastic change. For the most part, you don’t have to worry if your worm population outgrows your farm.
The population in your worm farm will self-regulate based on the size of the bin and available food supply. If you are noticing that you have many small worms, read this troubleshooting guide.
Thomas Jefferson Vermicomposting is a simple and rewarding way to make use of kitchen scraps while providing your plants with an ongoing supply of truly nutrient-rich amendments. That perfect batch of tomatoes or fruit that you are striving for starts with the nutrients that go into the soil.