What to feed your Red Wiggler Worms

Wiggler feed

What to feed your Red Wiggler Worms

Vermicomposting or worm composting is a type of composting in which you feed your vegetable scraps to a certain earthworm species, namely red wigglers. What do red wiggler wormseat? Here we will give you an overview of the regime necessary ro feed your worms.

What is a Red Wiggler Worms Diet?

What Should You Feed Composting Worms on? A primary reason to worm compost at home is to responsibly dispose of your food waste instead of placing in your garbage and subsequently to landfill. So, what do red wigglers eat? Worms eat miniscule, invisible, bacteria that graze on the food you add to your vermicomposting box. The wigglers likewise snack the nutrient scraps and bin bedding. You can therefore give your composting wigglers any vegetable menu scraps even coffee grounds and egg shells.

What do Worms prefer eating?

Reed wigglers favor some vegetable scraps over others:
They cherish sweetened foods such as melon rinds. cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon, etc.
Non-citrus fruit. berries, apples, pears, etc.
Squashes. The soft flesh is simple for them to devour.

Foods that wigglers do not appreciate so much.
Composting Worms will still gobble these menus but in large amounts they could cause harm to your worms. I have often placed small quantities of such foods in my composting bin without having experienced a problem.
Citrus: oranges, limes, lemons, etc. Significant amounts of citrus can burn a worm’s sensitive surface.
Onions and garlic. These too can burn their skin if given in large quantities.
Bread: Bread doesn’t do any harm to your composting wigglers but it can be difficult to compost because it molds swiftly bringing in an extra element to the composting bin.

Composting worms are vegetarian so please remember what you must NOT give to your worms.

Meat, Dairy, Oil.

Cooked meat often has salts and other seasonings, which can injure your worms. Get some backyard chickens and you can responsibly dispose of your cooked menu scraps and get some enormous eggs as well.

Other foods for Red Wigglers – Items you can add to your composting bin that might well not have occured to you.

Dryer lint- Mostly comprises fibers from your clothes
Egg Shells- although breaking down takes a very long time.
Paper Towels- provided you have only utilized them to cleanse beverage accidents, etc. Do not pace towels that have substances on them in your bin.
Pet Hair – you should be careful with this one. In small quantities it works well but in big amounts hair can easily clump together causing it to be harder for the worms to break it down.
Coffee filters and teabags – carry on and put them in as well, they are only made of paper!

Feeding procedure for your worms
Worms can eat approximately fifty percent of their bodyweight daily. You can utilize this equation to work out how much you should be giving your wigglers. When you commission your bin you will usually stock with one pound of worms. So, they will be able to eat approximately half a pound of scraps daily subject tohaving ideal bin conditions present. If you would like your wigglers to ingest more quickly, chop the menu scraps into small portions before needed and pop them into the freezer overnight. Chopping, and/or blending will add to the surface area of each segment of food ensuring that it becomes easier for the red wigglers and the bacteria to feed. Freezing and then thawing breaks down the cell walls of the food item which ensures that it is more mushy when thawed and simpler to consume.

Earthworms have no teeth. Like chickens they have very small gizzards that are used to grind food. Without teeth, they can not bite off lumps of the scraps. Hence, they have to wait until the food scraps start to go rotten and get soft and mushy. Therefore freezing and then thawing your nutrients is a great help.

Here here is some advice on how often to feed your worms.

Wait until your red wigglers have finished their feed before you give them any more. This is simply done by just checking the composting bin. If you overfeed you can bring in unwanted problems.
If you maintain your worm composting indoors you will need to manage it somewhat more carefully to ensure that you avoid fruit flies or foul-smelling odors. An indoor composter should have weekly checks and be fed weekly usually.
If you keep your setup outdoors it is OK to feed them a bit more at each feeding and have a little longer time between feedings. A feeding schedule for your outdoor composting red wigglers should be about once everytwo or three weeks.
Make sure not to overfeed your wigglers. If you put in too much for your wigglers they won’t be able to consume it before it goes rotten. Decomposing food can entice fruit flies and cause bad odors. Another way to deter flies and prevent odor is to be sure to always bury your food scraps under the bedding.
You do not need a baby-sitter for your setup. Even if you went out of town for a month your wigglers would be fine. Ensure you feed them before you go and if they are outdoors you can feed them a little more than customary. Remember, the worms will munch their bedding too!

Vermicomposting Resources

Red worms are green

Vermicomposting Resources

As with so many topics, there is a ton of information on the Internet about vermicomposting and vermiculture. The challenge is separating the good information from the bad. There are many, many people simply repeating information they found elsewhere without testing it or verifying its truthfulness.

Here are a number of resources which we feel have been developed by people who truly understand what it takes to be successful with vermicomposting.

Book: Recycle With Earthworms: The Red Wiggler Connection


Our current favorite book on the topic. Not as cute as “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Appelhof, but seems to be more informative and written by people with more experience in larger-scale vermicomposting (in addition to small-scale home bins). Having said that though, the current ‘Worms Eat My Garbage” is a 35th anniversary edition and so should be even better than before.

Vermicomposting Horse Manure
http://equineextension.colostate.edu/content/view/171/57/
Discusses large-scale use of vermicomposting with Eisenia fetida to process horse manure. Published by the Colorado State University Extension

Got other good resources? Please post below, or tell us via our Contact Page. Thanks!

Red Wiggler Compost Worm Eggs Cocoons

Red wiggler egg cocoons

I was just out checking out my compost worm bins and turned up a few compost worm eggs. What you see as red wiggler eggs are actually cocoons or egg cases that contain roughly 5-12 actual eggs.

When red wiggler egg cocoons are first laid they’re a rather pale yellow color which really stands out against the dark compost. As they mature, they change to more of a reddish-brown that’s a bit more difficult to spot.

If you’re seeing red wiggler eggs in your worm bin — congratulations! You’re providing a good enough environment for your compost worms that they’re able to breed. Speaking from experience, it’s pretty exciting when you first see eggs/cocoons in your worm bin. At that point, you’re well on your way to increasing your worm herd. 🙂

It’s sometimes possible to buy red wiggler compost worm eggs directly online, but it’s much more common to buy live compost worms. If you find red wiggler cocoons in with your worms when you buy them, great! That just means you’ve gotten a lot of potential baby worms to grow up in your worm bin.