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I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

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I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Jess0331 on 4/25/2012, 7:40 pm

Hi fellow SFG'ers!

I am a newbie and am contemplating trying to make compost in my backyard. Are worms a necessity? The reason I ask is because, well, I'm terrible repulsed and afraid of them. Go ahead, laugh! Wink I know all the wonderful things they do for soil and how they are beneficial to gardeners but I just can't get myself to get near them. I blame my cousin...he tossed 4 large, very squirmy earthworms down my shirt when I was 4 and I never recovered. LOL

When I clear areas in my garden spot or dig a hole to plant flowers and come across a worm I literally freeze and scream. It's so pathetic! I'm really sorry for sounding so dumb about this, but I have gotten such good information here so far I figured I'd go ahead and ask.

Jess

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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  yolos on 4/25/2012, 7:46 pm

No, worms are not necessary for composting. But they will usually come to the compost pile on their own.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/25/2012, 7:48 pm

Oh no! Poor you! do you have that same reaction when you see your cousin because he deserves it!!
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Grandpop on 4/25/2012, 7:50 pm

glad you\'re here
And NO, you don't need worms! And when your garden begins to produce all those goodies at the middle and end of the summer, I would invite that cousin over and let them get a good look at your success. Then remind them of the worm incident, and NO they weren't taking home a bag of your goodies! rofl
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  martha on 4/25/2012, 9:42 pm

But what Yolo said is true. (And what Lavender Debs said, also!)

Do you have someone who can turn the pile for you, and maybe harvest for you when the time comes?



Don't be embarrased by having worm-aphobia. Brothers, cousins and all kinds of other family members can install all kinds of fears and traumas.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  givvmistamps on 4/25/2012, 11:11 pm

Don't feel silly! Most people have an irrational fear or two hiding in their skeleton closet. I have a son who screams like a girl and runs when he sees spiders...and he never had a terrible cousin doing mean things to him like you.

It is possible to successfully compost without worms. You can put your composting ingredients into an enclosed composting bin that you control; some are barrels you turn once in awhile to speed the process, others have layers that drop the finished product to the bottom through a grille of some sort.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Nicola on 4/26/2012, 4:05 am

and from another Connecticutioner (or do you prefer Nutmegger?)

You've described my reaction when I've seen cockroaches (thank god that hasn't happened in years) and centipedes (or "many-legged creepy-crawleys" as I usually think of them) => frozen in near-abject terror. I guess I'm lucky; worms don't get to me that way.

Does said cousin have any critter phobias? Not that I'd recommend throwing something his affraid way, or anything like that, no, Evil or Very Mad of course not (but it may be nice to think about.) By the time it's time to sieve your compost, you can put long handles on the sifter, so you don't run into any wormies or other creatures too close.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  walshevak on 4/26/2012, 6:13 am

my phobia is snakes. I intellectually know there are helpful snakes, but my emotions say KILL.

Kay

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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/26/2012, 7:54 am

@walshevak wrote:my phobia is snakes. I intellectually know there are helpful snakes, but my emotions say KILL.

Kay

+1 you're not alone Kay get that pesky wabbi

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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/26/2012, 7:55 am

I don't necessarily have a phobia with bees/wasps/hornets, but I really do not like them one bit. I see one and I want to kill it. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  kbb964 on 4/26/2012, 7:57 am

I hate any kind of bug apart from worms!

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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/26/2012, 10:29 am

Like others have said you can compost in a closed container above ground and keep the worms out. I have two open compost piles that I will be converting into a tumbler soon. One tool that is essential for working with compost is pitchfork. Get one with the long thin tines and hopefully while you are holding the pitchfork you will be a little less scared of just about everything.

-On Walking Dead they killed a zombie with a pitchfork; if the pitchfork can handle a zombie it should be able to handle a worm.

-I'm not making fun of your phobia. I am deathly terrified of mayonnaise and sour cream and not even a pitchfork can help me get over that fear.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  hopeless151 on 4/26/2012, 10:31 am

Don't feel bad about being afraid of worms, they are pretty wiggly.

I got attacked by a herd of crickets while mowing a yard when I was young. So many were on me that you couldn't see any part of my legs. The lady I was mowing for had to come beat them off with a kitchen towel!!!

So any time I see one I hyperventillate and nearly pass out, too scared to even scream! Luckily, I have family and friends that alot of times will kill them before I see them and most the time keep it a secret from me. :-)
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 10:34 am

Jess, you are not alone in the worms-aphobia. I, too, have a problem with them. I shiver just thinking of them. So I guess I'll have to find someone to help me with them.
Since I will be using a community garden, I will definitely have help. I'm lucky.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  llama momma on 4/26/2012, 10:43 am

@walshevak wrote:my phobia is snakes. I intellectually know there are helpful snakes, but my emotions say KILL.

Kay

My emotions say RUN. I cannot remember if poisonous snakes have slitted or rounded pupils and won't get close enough either since I'll be running and screeching in the other direction. After I built up the large compost heap I found out snakes might like hanging around there too? Now the weeds around the edges may have ticks? affraid
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  CindiLou on 4/26/2012, 11:31 am

When people see me go in the opposite direction from a bee or wasp..they usually think I am scared! Really I am allergic! I hate the shots and hate the itch..and that is just the NICE side effects.

So I let them think what they want...then they warn me about them cause they want to see me bust a move
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  givvmistamps on 4/26/2012, 2:03 pm

I just realized I went and told on my son but didn't tell about my own fears...but mine aren't so much bug related. (Though if I see a BIG spider unexpectedly skittering through the house I do freak; that's because I'm afraid it's a Brown Recluse!) Ticks churn my stomach, raising the bile, but not so much that I can't remove them from myself or loved ones.

My biggest fear is not bug, snake or garden related at all...I'm terrified of heights! pale Whenever we have to go through Jacksonville or another city with TALL bridges, my husband has to drive and I close my eyes until we're over...and when I go somewhere with balconies I stay at least 5' away from the edge.

My biggest sacrifice for parenthood was a couple years ago when my older son REALLY wanted to go on a waterslide that looked like it was a mile in the air...I have a very hard time with stairs because of hip problems, and I had to carry an inner-tube up the stairs...but for him, I carried that darn thing up the CENTER of the stairs as quickly as my hips would let me, without the aid of a railing, got my preferred 5' away from the railing as soon as I reached the top (which didn't help much because it was so high in the air I was SURE it was going to topple affraid ), then selected the slide that was in the middle so I could manage to get myself back down from there. I told JT I was never doing that again, What a Face then I took him back to my husband and told DH he had to trade sons with me if JT wanted to go on anything else like that. John was only 3, so had to stay in the kiddie section or the wave pool...and I was perfectly happy there for the remainder of the day. sunny
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Embarrassed

Post  Bluphrog on 4/26/2012, 2:24 pm

"Though if I see a BIG spider unexpectedly skittering through the house I do freak; that's because I'm afraid it's a Brown Recluse!:

Sorry, Giv, but brown recluse spiders are small -- 1/4" to 1/2" and they are sneaky, hiding and waiting to pounce. My bro-in-law has been bitten twice and never saw the spiders.

Well, my "phobia" is flying, buzzing insects, especially if I only hear them go by. They don't have to bite or sting, just buzz and fly (and yes, a plain old housefly or mosquito will do it if I can't see it). If I hear one, I freeze. If I see one, I break out in a cold sweat. I actually almost went out a car window once. We were getting ready to pull away from a friend's house and she and my husband were still talking on the driver's side. Something flew in the back driver's side window and I was going out the passenger window. Hubby grabbed my shirt and wouldn't let go. Luckily, t flew out the back window, but I was almost in tears.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  givvmistamps on 4/26/2012, 3:15 pm

Yeah, I know they're smaller, but these spiders are usually seen out of the corner of my eye, skittering away from something that was just moved, like a blanket or whatever...perfect hiding place to find a Recluse. We had a real time of it getting all the spiders back outside where they belong when we first moved into this house; it had been unoccupied for almost 3 years. Spiders, silverfish and waterbugs had practically taken over the joint (or so it seemed) when we first bought it, so we had to take drastic measures in getting them outside again. Now we have eco-friendly pest barriers at all entrances to keep them out.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 3:20 pm

Well, Bluphrog, I can do you one better as for experience with flying insects. However, I'm not afraid of them, in spite of my experience.
I was camping with my granddaughter on Cape Cod. We went into the tent for the night. I put on the lantern and she snuggled in her bedroll.
Reading was my way of relaxing after a hectic day of sightseeing. As I read a moth buzzed around the tent coming close to me. I idly swatted at it with one hand while I continued to read.
The moth took revenge on me and promptly flew into my right ear! Yes, my ear! And wouldn't you know I get a dumb moth, he doesn't know how to back out!
So we get in the car(10 PM) and go down to a local store where a police car was parked. Of course I also lost my glasses, needed for driving, that day so had to wear my Rx sunglasses.
Went into the store and told the policeman what happened. He took me over to the firestation, about a block away. It seems all but 2 firemen were asleep. But they decide to wake all the others so they could see the lady with the moth in her ear!
Now is the fun part. They put me and my granddaughter(5 yo) in an ambulance and used the siren to take me to the local hospital. No subtlety there!
Arrive at the hospital, talk to the intake gal, she does NOT believe me when I tell her the problem. Of course she has to shout it so everyone in the waiting room can hear!
The comes the doctor. Puts me in what looks like a barber chair and raises me so my ear is at his eye level.....he is at least 6' tall!
Mundane solution - fill my ear with oil, tilt my head so it doesn't leak out, and stay that way for 10 minutes to kill the moth.
Now he comes back, and using long tweezers, he removes the moth.
His comment at this point, "I'm glad it wasn't an Italian moth". Naturally, I know there is no such thing but I ask why.
His answer, "Because I didn't have any olive oil"! Evil or Very Mad
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  squaredeal on 4/26/2012, 3:41 pm

This might sound silly, but trying naming your bug (or worm - Free Willy the worm!). Living in the woods I'm surround by creepy crawlers, so I take an attitude that God put them on this earth, too. So when Barnabe the Bumblebee gets trapped on a screen, I find a paper cup and plate and assist him to the free outdoors. Our porch must be on a nest of Wolf spiders - they are huge! I assist them outside too. With ants, well, I give them a free lunch...but after a couple of days they don't come back.....
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  ksbmom on 4/26/2012, 7:11 pm

SwampCatNana - I read a book recently written by a former park ranger, and he tells the story of a guy who had a moth fly into his ear. This ranger was pretty clever, and held a flashlight up to the man's ear, and lo and behold, the moth came flying out because it was attracted to the light! Too bad that doctor didn't think of that.....Very Happy
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  plantoid on 4/26/2012, 7:50 pm

Sounds like we need a befriending session for these poor wee creatures because you guys are thousands of time bigger then they are.

The therapy consists of standing within six feet of your nemisis and not doing a runner or a squalk for six seconds.. now that's not difficult is it ?

Then a few hours late hang around for 12 seconds and look at the beastie . Each day repeat the exercise till your a foot or so away and have a real good look at what has been scaring the living day lights out of you.

The same goes with worms but this time wear some dark rubber gloves , go and touch the worm , see how it recoils at your touch .

See how it eases its way into the particles of earth , next day do the same and scoop a worm onto the palm of your hand ..whilst wearing your glove. Look at how it moves around ..notice how it's body is a serices of rings that it stretches and contracts to move around . Can you see its digestive tract and recognise which end is which?

Do this for a couple of glove days then wear a clear light poly bag on your bare hand ... the worm can't get to you ..it would'nt want to either as your skin acids will burn its skin .

Do this for a few days and one day be really brave .... move a worm with a bare finger tip .

It can't hurt you or bite you but it can help you get over your distress. give the worm a friendly name and watch it make its way into your MM after you have gently picked it up & placed it in your ANSFG bed.
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 8:11 pm

@ksbmom wrote:SwampCatNana - I read a book recently written by a former park ranger, and he tells the story of a guy who had a moth fly into his ear. This ranger was pretty clever, and held a flashlight up to the man's ear, and lo and behold, the moth came flying out because it was attracted to the light! Too bad that doctor didn't think of that.....Very Happy

Actually, he did look in with a flashlight. But the moth was so big it could not turn around. Or it was just plain dumb?! albino
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Re: I'm embarrassed, but I'm going to ask anyway

Post  Gena575 on 4/26/2012, 9:03 pm

@SwampCatNana wrote:Well, Bluphrog, I can do you one better as for experience with flying insects. However, I'm not afraid of them, in spite of my experience.
I was camping with my granddaughter on Cape Cod. We went into the tent for the night. I put on the lantern and she snuggled in her bedroll.
Reading was my way of relaxing after a hectic day of sightseeing. As I read a moth buzzed around the tent coming close to me. I idly swatted at it with one hand while I continued to read.
The moth took revenge on me and promptly flew into my right ear! Yes, my ear! And wouldn't you know I get a dumb moth, he doesn't know how to back out!

I had something very similar happen and am now a complete freak about buzzing insects, too! I was living in my mom's basement during my divorce from my first husband. I was reading and waved away a buzzy thing, like you did. Either I swatted it into my ear or it was a bug with a death wish, but BOOM there it was! We tried flushing it out with water which ended up killing it, but not removing it like I thought had happened. The next day I was in excruciating pain from the dead bug stuck in my ear. The doctor used one of those old water flossers to blast it out of my ear. Turns out it was a lightning bug. Ick ick ick!
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