Fequently Asked Questions

Can worms see?
No, worms don't have eyes. They are very sensitive to bright light. They will try to hide as soon as they are exposed to light.





Where is the mouth?
The worm's mouth is in the first anterior segment. There is a small protruding lip just over the mouth, called prostomium. When the worm is foraging, this lip is stretching out. The prostomium is used for sensing food.





Do they have teeth?
Worms have no teeth for chewing food. They grind food in their gizzard by muscle action.





How do they grind food?
Worms can only take small particles in their small mouths. Microorganisms soften the food before worms will eat it. Worms have a muscular gizzard. Small parts of food mixed with some grinding material such as sand, topsoil or limestone is ingested. The contractions from the muscles in the gizzard compress those particles against each other, mix it with fluid, and grind it to smaller pieces.





If a worm is cut in two, will it grow back?
It depends on where the cut took place. If a worm is cut at the posterior end, sometimes a new tail will grow back on. Sometimes a second tail will appear next to a damaged tail. However, the posterior half of the worm can?t grow a new anterior (head.)





What Are The Other Critters In My Worm Bin?
Once your worm bin has been going for a while, you may notice other creatures like white worms, springtails, and millipedes living in your bin. This is normal, these creatures will not hurt your worms. In fact, they help the composting process. The only bugs that may be present that pose a threat to worms are centipedes. You can tell centipedes and millipedes apart by looking at how their legs are attached to their bodies. Centipedes have only one pair of legs per segment, millipedes have two pairs.





What do I do if my bin smells?
Unpleasant odors in a worm bin may result from too much food waste, too much moisture, or composting cheese or animal products. Control odors by removing excess waste? You can also make sure that drainage holes are not blocked and adding more drain holes or fresh bedding if needed. Always cover fresh food waste with at least one inch of bedding.





What Is Growing In My Worm Bin?
You may occasionally notice patches of mold or sprouts in your worm bin. Molds and fungi are a natural part of the composting process, helping to break down the food waste. Vegetables may sprout in your bin because of all the nutrients present. These things will eventually be consumed by the worms and other organisms, but you can keep the mold or sprouts out of sight by covering them with bedding.





What Happens To My Worms In The Winter?
When it gets colder, your worms will slow down, and will not be able to digest as much food waste. You will most likely need to cut back on the amount of food waste you feed your worms between November and February. Red worms can survive cold winters outside if protected by bedding in a worm bin.





Do worms die in the box? It's hard to find dead worms in a worm box, but they do die in the box. Dead worm bodies decompose very quickly, because their bodies are between 75%-90% water. If you find many dead worms you should find out the cause. High heat (above 110 degrees) is fatal to them. Too much salt or acidic food waste can kill them. It's best to change the bedding with fresh materials to solve the problem. Sometimes, partially replacing bedding may solve the problem.





How long do worms live?
Often, worms live and die in the same year. They are exposed to hazards, dryness, too hot or too cold weather. Eisenia foetida can live for as long as four years.





Do worms need air?
Worms need oxygen to live. The oxygen diffuses across the moist tissue of their skin, from the region of greater concentration of oxygen (air) to that of lower concentration (inside the worm.) Carbon dioxide produced by the bodily processes of the worm also diffuses through skin. Moving from higher concentration to lesser concentration, carbon dioxide moves from the inside of the worm's body out into the surrounding bedding. A constant supply of fresh air throughout the bedding helps this desirable exchange take place.





Garden Worms
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