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Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

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Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/28/2012, 12:00 pm

...so I was checking on my worms this morning and I looked at the banana to see if they had eaten all the banana I had put in there. On the outside of the banana are these tiny...and I mean tiny, not even the size of a pin head crawling on them. Does anyone know what these could be and are they harmful.

Also, I am having trouble with figuring out how wet it should be in there. My newspapers are moist on top of the bedding, but the bedding seems really dry. I used coir (sp?) that came with the Worm Factory. They seemed a little sluggish so I sprayed the bedding down with water last night.

Any tips would greatly be appreciated!

Thanks,

Lee Anne
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/28/2012, 12:05 pm

I forgot to say...but the bugs are white.

Lee Anne
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2012, 12:20 pm

I have seen those things exactly as you described. Probably a type of mite, but don't freak it is normal. There are lots of things that will live in your bin, some can be seen with the naked eye, others are microscopic. It's all good and they have a role in the composting cycle. I keep the lid on and add weight to it. Personally, I don't like giving any little beasties the chance to crawl out, that's why I weigh it down. I'm doing this wormery thing too but believe me I'm shaking my head at times and questioning my sanity. I won't tell you my husband's opinion, other than he has a great sense of humor and must really love me lots rofl
Moisture: I know it's hard to figure out. If the food is being eaten, if you are seeing casts, then things are prb. OK. If they are staying inside and not trying for a mass escape then they are ok too.
The casts: I could really identify them about the third week or about 1 week ago. But just read 3 to six weeks is a normal time frame to find it.
I have disposable gloves and admit I get in there once a day and fluff things up to add oxygen, I don't think it is really necessary but I want to Do Something to make me feel like I'm helping and to see if anything looks really bad. I spray a little here and there to add moisture. I read The 2 biggest mistakes people make is feeding too much and adding too much water. What a blabber mouth I am today. thinking
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critters

Post  Boz on 3/28/2012, 6:39 pm

It sounds like you have mites. They seem to come and go in my worm bins. This links to an article on worm bin critters, the article is down from the top of the page.l

http://www.wormdigest.org/content/view/35/2/
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  camprn on 3/28/2012, 7:12 pm

Bananas are notorious for harboring fruit fly eggs, perhaps these are fruit fly larvae. Can you post a photo?

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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  nancydobs on 3/28/2012, 9:01 pm

The bedding should be about as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Food scraps will quickly add moisture. You'll probably be adding more dry or barely-damp bedding over time, just to compensate for all the moisture in fruit and veggie scraps. I gave up on adding fruit peels to the worm bin, as I keep my bin in the house and the fruit peels just seem LOADED with insect larvae. I have plenty of veggie scraps for the worms, and send my fruit scraps to the compost heap outdoors (or feed to the chickens). If you really want to use up fruit scraps, just freeze them first; I've read it will kill any insect larvae. I know that most insects are beneficial in the bin, but still, it's not pleasant to have them swarm out into the house every time you open the bin. I also had bad insect problems after using leaves for bedding. It was just OVERRUN with bugs of every kind! Now I stick to paper-based bedding like cardboard, newspaper, paper egg cartons, etc.
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2012, 7:01 am

Nancy D
Thanks that is good advice to know about leaves. I wouldn't want those other critters in my house either. So, maybe (one day) leaves would be a preferred bedding an insulated outdoor bin. In the book, Worms Eat My Garage, she recommends for a new bin, a handful or two of outdoor soil as "an inoculum of soil bacteria, protozoa, and fungi ,,to aid in the composting process." The only grit in mine so far is regular additions of ground up egg shells. Did everyone else add outdoor soil??
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/29/2012, 8:29 am

Thanks everyone for all the info. I think the bugs are too small to show up in a photo unless I got my macro lens out. I do think they are mites. I guess I probably should use gloves when I'm messing with the worms, but I wash my hands after I have had them in there.

I do have one more question. The food that I feed them has mold on it. Is it OK to put that in there or should I put that in the composter and chop some more up for them?

Thanks again!!!

Lee Anne
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  wncsohn on 3/29/2012, 8:46 am

LeeAnne,

From what I've read, it isn't the "food" that they eat but the decomposition, so moldy food should be a shmorgasboard for the wormies Smile

I've actually got a "decomposing" green pepper in my veggie bin (in a bag mind you) that I'm holding for when my wormies get here next week.
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Re: Bugs with my worms..Oh No!!!

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2012, 8:48 am

Agree, think of mold as a good fungus food for them, just put it in. Worms don't eat the food as we do. They consume the decomposing bits which is the fungus and bacteria, etc. When you put the food in fresh it can take days to about a week for the microscopic breakdown to occur so the worms' itty bitty mouths can consume it. On the other hand, you can add fuzzy fruit or veggies for more of an immediate meal for them. To calm down any stinky-ness I have wrapped the food scraps in moistened newspaper and place it 2 inches below the bedding. They soon find the little package. Looks like a party in there Smile
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