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Worm Bin Troubleshooting

  • Common Worm Bin Problems and Solutions
  • Worms crawling to the surface of the worm bed and dying.   This is called protein  poisoning by some.  This is really just putrification of the worm bedding.  This happens when there is too much water and too little air.  Remember that bedding should be moist but not wet.  The bin should smell Earthy and not like death.  You can save your worms if you just caught the problem now and some worms are still alive and healthy.
  • Aerate the bedding immediately.  Add dry peat moss  or coir to the bedding and mix it in.  Add dry crumpled newspaper if you don't have peat and coir. You can add newspaper even if you do have coir or peat.  Fluff the bedding and let the dry material act as airholes through out the worm bin or worm bed.
  • Remove and corn or bread products.  Worms can tolerate small amounts of bread and corn but too much will cause fermentation in the bedding. This will cause putrification.
  • Test for pH.  Anything above a 7 is too alkaline or below a 6 is too acidic.  Treat with powdered limestone.
  • Worms are crawling off.
  • If this is a new bin or bed of worms then they just might not be used to their home.  Red Worms and Euroworms will attempt to crawl off when they are first installed in their new home.  Especially after a long trip from our farm to yours.  The easiest cure is to put a light over the worm bin, worm bed or composting bin for a few days.  If the worms are well fed and the pH and conditions are right then the light will not be needed.  J
  • Just remember that worms will attempt to crawl if they are left in open worm bins outside in the rain.  If you can cover them they will not crawl off.  You can also put a two inch strip of wood around the top of the bin to as a crawl barrier.  The wooden slate would hang over the top of the worm bed with the lip hanging over on the inside of the bin.  The worms will crawl up and will not be able to go around the wood slat.  This is the best solution.
  • If the worms have been in the bed for a while you will want to check to make sure that your bedding is not acidic, that it is not anerobic or that the bedding is not used up.  If the bedding it powdery and there aren't signs of food in the bed then it's time to change the bedding and use the worm castings on your organic garden.  Worm castings are the best natural fertilzer known to mankind, wormkind and wormmankind. :-)
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