Compost worms breed prolifically once sexually mature at +- 3 months. While compost worms are hermaphrodites (containing both male and female sexual organs) they do need a partner in order for both worms to make a cocoon. These cocoons, under ideal conditions, will...
An established worm bin can be left for up to four weeks with no adverse effects if you feed the worms well before you leave. Left for longer periods the worm population would slowly decline.
Either they have run out of food or the conditions in the bin have become unsuitable for them. Worms hate waterlogged, acidic compost. Piling in a thick layer of kitchen waste so that it begins to putrefy and exclude the air will cause this sort of problem.
These are probably pot worms (enchytraeids). They do a similar job to brandling worms and are nothing to worry about; you find them in most worm bins. They are very tolerant of waterlogged/acid conditions.
These pictures show some awful situations that some worms are living in and after sorting out the worms, cleaning the worm farms and placing the worms in HIGH CARE, they all went home feeling revitalized.
Here are some very interesting facts about us – the Eisenia Fetida Compost Worm Family. A few words from me, Professor Worm. I, Professor Worm am an Eisenia Fetida, and so are my scholars. We poo so good (vermicast) because we EAT so good! The crittering of my worms (sounds of worms eating their food) is music to my soul. We appear to be shy, but more certainly are NOT shy – it is just when our skins and bodies are exposed to light that we feel distressed. We eat most things organic from the kitchen table – nothing goes to waste, but is turned into good rich worm poo. We like raw vegetable scraps and peelings, fruit, coffee and tea bags, egg shells (high in calcium), shredded newspaper (in fact any paper, as long as not glossy!), and our favourites – avocado, pear and pumpkins! We thrive on manure, especially rabbit manure that fattens us up quickly, and of course our worm treats conditioner. We convert the above into “Black Gold ”, either as compost of Vermitea. We are not common garden worms, but a specialised composting worm, living off the organic luxuries of kitchen waste, in a rich organic environment, where moisture is maintained throughout the year. We are the Eisenia Fetida! We are hermaphrodites, meaning that we have both male and female sexual organs. We do not have eyes, but have light and touch sensitive organs to sense light intensity and ground vibrations. We breathe through our skin and secrete enzymes which assists in breaking down food. We are segmented, and have almost transparent pairs of bristles, which help us move.We do not have teeth, although we have strong mouth muscles – hence we cannot “chew” rough food, but rather need food cut up finely or mashed with a grit like coffee or soil particles. This food is ground down further within internal gizzards, using powerful muscles.
Worms do not go up from one tray to the next – this has been tried and tested – please do not be fooled. A client had purchased a certain worm farm and found that the worms were not going up from one tray to the next no matter what she did and in sheer desperation she moved the trays around.
QUESTION: DO YOU HAVE A BIG PROPERTY OR SMALLHOLDING AS YOU HAVE WORMFARMS?
ANSWER: NO I DO NOT – IT IS THE NAME GIVEN FOR HOUSING YOUR WORM BOXES.
QUESTION: DO THE WORMS NEED EGGSHELS FOR THEIR DIET?
ANSWER: NO NOT NECESSARILY, EGGSHELS CONTAIN CALCIUM WHICH IS USED FOR BONES AND WORMS DO NOT HAVE BONES.
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EARTHWORM AND A COMPOST WORM (EISENIA FETIDA) AND CAN THEY LIVE TOGTHER?
ANSWER: FIRSTLY, AN EARTHWORM LIVES UNDERGROUND. YOU USUALLY FIND ONE IF YOU DIG A HOLE TO PLANT A SHRUB. THEY FEED MAINLY ON ROOT FIBRES AND DECAYING ROOTS. COMPOST WORMS FEED MAINLY ON SOME FRESH KITCHEN WASTE. THE WORMS CANNOT LIVE TOGETHER AS THEY HAVE DIFFERENT FOOD REQUIREMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTS ETC.
QUESTION: DO WORMS WEE?
ANSWER: NO THEY DO NOT – THEY ONLY MAKE CASTINGS – POO
QUESTION: DO BIG WORMS MATE WITH SMALLER WORMS?
ANSWER: NO THEY DO NOT – A WORM GENERALLY MATES WITH A WORM OF A SIMILAR SIZE.
QUESTION: CAN I HOLD THE WORMS IN MY HAND FOR LONG – E.G. PASSING THE SAME WORM AROUND A CLASSROOM.
ANSWER: NO – ONLY FOR A FEW SECONDS AS THEIR SKINS ARE MOIST AND THEY BREATH IN OXYGEN THROUGH THEIR SKINS. IF WORMS ARE KEPT OUT OF THEIR NATURAL HABITAT FOR TOO LONG, THEIR SKINS DRY AND THEY BECOME PARALYSED AND DIE.
As vermicomposting becomes ever more popular as an “on site” green waste solution, so too, are large corporations, hotels, schools and buildings looking to compost worms in order to: