Catching compost worms

compost worms in worm bin
compost worms in worm bin

I’m currently experimenting with ways to catch tiger worms (or compost worms) myself. Of course you can just buy them, but catching them yourself seemed like a nice idea. Here is the first report of my progress. I would love to hear your experiences and tips! The goal is to collect the best tips.

On the internet I found several tips:

  • Look for horse manure, or a compost heap. It is sometimes teeming with thin red worms, see also the video at the top
  • Catch the compost worms with a lure

Compost worms in horse manure or compost heap

This is a proven tactic that needs little further explanation. But in the urban areas, both are not really easy to find everywhere. I think it would be nice if you could actually lure worms out of the ground.

Catching tiger worms with a lure

Catching a compost worm is basically simple:

  • Find a spot with lots of soil life. So no bare sand plain but a place where there are a lot of leaves, and where no farmers with agricultural poison do their thing.
  • Put some food in that place. Basically anything you put in a worm bin or Balkonton. Or try it with a banana peel (unsprayed), avocado peel or piece of watermelon. They love that. A layer of moist grass clippings or rotting leaves can also work well.
  • Over the waste you put a wet jute bag or put an inverted earthenware flower pot. So that it remains dark and humid
  • Every few days you go and see what is coming at your lure.

In practice

So much for the theory. A week ago I set up some traps with banana peels in various places in my garden. I garden on clay soil and suffer a lot from slugs. And yes, my tiger worm bites also attract nudibranchs so far. Within a week, the entire banana peel was gone and replaced by wisps of worms or snail droppings. Unfortunately, I was not able to catch a worm while eating. I have heard from other people that they have succeeded. I think you need to make a somewhat larger waste pile, mixed with some cardboard or straw for the humidity. So basically just setting up a mini compost pile.