Do the worms stay in the worm bin?

compost worms in worm bin
compost worms in worm bin

How do you keep the compost worms in your worm hotel?

Have you ever seen a worm crawling out of the earth to crawl a bit over the pavement or against a lamppost? The answer is probably: NO. You will also not see your compost worms going for a walk. The explanation is simple.

First, worms do not like light.

So compost worms always look for a nice dark spot. If you just got a new worm bin and your worms are just in the bin, they can still be a bit awkward and go exploring. If you have your worm bin inside, it is wise to leave a light near your worm bin on for the first week. This prevents them from crawling out of the container. Once they are used to it, the night light can be turned off.

Secondly, compost worms like a moist environment.

They breathe through their skin, and when that skin dries out, they die. If they crawl out of your worm box, they will not get further than a meter, and then suffocate. If the environment becomes too wet, they drown, which is why earthworms crawl to the earth’s surface during heavy rains.

Third, they like not to be too cold or too hot

Make sure it is not too hot, in the summer in full sun it can get warmer than 35 degrees and the compost worms do not like that. Here are 7 tips for hot summers.

When it gets very cold, the worms go into a kind of hibernation rather than trying to flee. In case of prolonged severe frost, you can protect the worm bin with a box, bubble wrap or old blanket. Also read‘How do compost worms survive the winter’

Finally: Ensure good acidity.

If you feed your compost worms too much waste or add too little cardboard, it can become acidic and smelly. There is then so much rotting waste that the worms cannot cope and the bacteria are given free rein. The solution is: remove some excess waste, and add some extra sawdust or cardboard.

Make sure that the layer of waste never becomes more than 10 cm thick.


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