Worm Composting Bugs

This article will discuss the most common worm composting bugs that are a nuisance to worm farmers.

Worm Composting Bugs are a part of a healthy worm ecosystem. Therefore, it is not wrong to presume that this ecosystem WILL contain bugs at all times, bugs other than red worms. Critters are just part of the deal. At first it bugged (sorry could not resist) me a little bit but I have become accustomed to them.

Fruit flies are the most compliained about creature of the wormbin. If you have rotting fruits and veggies you will likely have fruit flies. But here are some tips to minimize there infestation:

  • Remove scraps from the house by freezing them or storing them outside until you feed to the worms
  • Bury scraps in the bedding or place at least 2 inches of dry newspaper atop the bedding.
  • Cover your entire bin with a peice of fabric (not plastic, bin must be able to areate/breathe.
  • Consider using a fruit fly trap or fly tape

Here is a video on how to make a fruit fly trap. I personally make one like his but use the vinegar/soap as the trapping solution, I have found it to be much more effective.

Mites are a frequent pest of wormbins. Red mights can be predatory and try to take over a bin - while white mites rarely cause a problem.

Here is a youtube video showing you what the mites look like. If you have an overabundance of mites, it is almost always a sign that you have overfed and your bin is acidic and too wet. So the simple solution, is to add some dry bedding and NOT to feed for at least 7-10 days, I usually wait 2 weeks.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (bsfl) or phoenix worms often occupy outdoor bins during the warm months. I call them maggots - they are nasty in my humble opinion. phoenix worms, black soldier fly larvae, bsfl They pose no threat to your worm bin- in fact they eat faster than your worms, so if you have some, watch your feed, you may need to feed more often. There castings or poo can become worm feed. BUT and it is a BIG BUT, the castings of BSFL smells putrid, I mean it makes me gag and I used to be an ER nurse and nothing makes me gag. It was not the smell of an anerobic bin, it was a very distinctive smell, something others that I know who have BSFL bins have experienced as well. This was my experience with them and for that reason I will not ever have a bin dedicated to just BSFL. Of course, I prefer worms.

AND, if you are planning on selling the castings, people dont want maggot looking creatures in their purchase. So I hand pick them out or lately, I set a chicken on the bin and let them peck them out. Chickens and fish LOVE BSFL. If you do nothing at all, they usually go away on their own. Springtails, generally speaking sprintails are harmless in the bins. They should be viewed as a part of the healthy habitat. They are tiny - about the size of the head of needle and are brown or white and are known for springing up when encountered.

Sow Bugs / Pill Bugs/ Roly Poly Bugs. Commonly found in compost piles are no harm either. They work wonders composting tough materials like corn husks/cobs, so let them be.

Last but not least: ANTS! I hate ants, the little buggers sneak up on you and before you know it, OUCH! Well, they do the same things in a bin. One day you go out to check your bin and they have taken up residence. Usually when it has rained a lot outside and they are looking for dry ground, not to mention they have a good food source too in a bin. The best remedy I have found for getting rid of ants is to soak them out. Spray down your bed to wet and do it again in 48 hours and they will leave. I have tried diatomaceous earth (which is safe for a worm bin by the way because worms do not have an exoskeleton) and it did not work as well as soaking. The Soak 'Em out method works best for me.

Worm composting bugs can be a nuisance but there is usually a remedy.

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