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.
Seeing those plants thrive with no added pesticides is one of the best joys toucan experience. One poster suggested just setting up a pile of leaves and scraps and catching wild red wrigglers.
Also, my though was what are the chances of getting some worms or eggs if you went to a big box and bought a bag of organic compost and added to the bin. I’d think you’d have issues with the bag getting too hot and killing them, but I didn’t know if you’d ever experimented with this or possible the same idea, but straight from a whole seller.
Eugenia fetid/Andrei worms are very closely associated with human activities, most often being found on farms (in old manure piles) or in compost heaps/bins within town/city limits. They don’t reproduce nearly as rapidly as Eugenia fetid/Andrei, they’re not as well-suited for processing rich organic waste materials, and they don’t have the same sort of tolerance for hot temperatures and crowded conditions as Eugenia worms (although they are much better suited than typical garden/lawn worms).
And then they can likely just gradually make their way to neighboring farms via typical earthworm movement (during rainstorms etc). In the case of their bags of “compost” and “manure”, these would have definitely gone through some form of serious sterilization process (it’s doubtful these stores would want to take any chances, dealing with as many customers as they do).
Occasionally bait shops will also carry them, but it is important to make sure you end up with the right kind of worm. According to Recycle with Earthworms, you will need about a 1.5 of cubic square feet per 1 lb.
I’ve never tried this, but I’ve been told youcanfind out if you have red wigglers in your backyard by placing a wet piece of corrugated cardboard outside overnight. If in the morning you have worms in the center (crawling through the tunnels) then they are most likely wigglers.
This also means that they need a consistent and constant supply of food to satisfy their ravenous hunger. Soil dominated by beneficial bacteria and fungi naturally support healthy plants, hold moisture and help to prevent disease.
So understanding how worms live in the soil, the temperatures they can manager are between 40-80F, and they need to be moist to ensure they can breathe through their skin. Therefore, you must manage worms inside a controlled environment where toucan feed them as needed, like your dining room.
These worms are typical earthworms called an annelid or “ringed” species, meaning that their bodies are segmented on the outside and inside. In addition to providing compost, red wigglers are popular species used as fishing bait and for feeding larger animals, such as reptiles and birds.
Composting with red wigglers is beneficial and can reduce household waste, provide free soil enhancer, reduce the amount of electricity used when operating a garbage disposal and spawn more worms for fishing and feeding. Mary Appleton, author of “The Worms Ate My Garbage,” suggests weighing the food you could compost for one week.
Provide one square foot of surface area per pound of food for your worms. Red wigglers are asexual, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs.
If you are keeping worms as bait or feed, a simple chicken mash is a good source of nutrients for them. It is important that the worms you feed your birds or reptiles are well-fed themselves, as this will aid in providing nutrients to your pets.
If you are composting toucan add fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, eggshells and tea bags. Red worms thrive at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; however, they can tolerate colder conditions.
A bed of peat moss, shredded cardboard or dead plant matter must be laid down as a home for the worms. Raising red worms can be a good way to supplement income and work from home.