- The staple of the diet is leaves, preferably rotted and shredded a bit, which can be used as bedding and also serve as a food source.
- Vegetable scraps and peels, the slimier and smaller the pieces, the better.
- Coffee grounds and filters – Hey, red worms love their caffeine kick in the morning, too!
- Fruit rinds, cores, skins, rotted or just left over, including banana peels, a red worm favorite.
- Tea bags, used and still moist, work well – be sure to remove any staples, though!
- Breads and grains can be used, but be stingy with them at first, until you are sure the worms like your presentation. They should be moistened a bit, before adding to the bin.
- Manure is another item that can work well, but you should proceed with caution. Add sparingly, and stick with rabbit and horse manure, if available. Or … don’t use any at all!
- Dry dog food, moistened in water, is an nutritious meal for the worms, too. So if the dogs bowl has some left over, dampen it and add to the mix for some variety.
- Cardboard, oddly enough, is a great source of food. The worms like to chew up the moistened paper product, and are especially fond of the glue that holds the corrugated product together.
- One last item to add once in a while: finely ground up egg shells. Be sure they are cleaned of any egg residue first, and grind the shells into a fine grit. Worms don’t have teeth, and believe it or not, these gritting little particles will be beneficial to the digestive process (of course, the end product of the digestion is the coveted and nutrient-rich worm castings!).
NOTE: The addition of egg shells should be done very sparingly. Also, the addition of a cleaned and in-tact shell fragment or two can be provide welcome shelter to the smallest, youngest worms in your bin. Feel free to add a little shell structure and see what happens!
As a point of emphasis, remember that worms do not do well with meat products and fish, as these items can attract a variety of pests that you DO NOT want in or around your house (think rats). They also cannot properly digest dairy products. Avoid these items at all times.
Also, fight the urge to add any processed food to the bin. This will only cause trouble for your worm army.
Some foods to AVOID:
- Meat and fish
- Dairy products
- Greasy scraps or left-overs
- Non-organic or processed goodies (think Twinkies)
- Citrus fruit, including lemons, oranges, grapefruit
When faced with considering “What do red worms eat?” the best course of action is to add new foods sparingly. Don’t upset the delicate balance of the worm bin, and monitor the worms to determine which menu items are well-received. Adapt the above lists to suit your worms.
Article by Donny B