Increase your red worm reproduction rate with these seven aphrodisiacs!
Red worms eat lots of organic material, but these ravenous little eating machines are particularly fond of some naturally sweet food treats.
While the wigglers will do well on a well-balanced diet of moldy vegetable peels, fruit scraps, cardboard, leaves, tea bags and coffee grounds, there are some high-sugar-content items that will really draw their attention in the worm bin.
To appeal to your red wigglers’ sweet-tooth, add the following “delicacies” to the menu every few days or so. The red wigglers will thank you for it – in more ways than one.
- Watermelon is a great addition, with a high moisture content and lots of sweet, soft “meat.”
- Pumpkin pieces chopped up and left to soften are perfect add-ins later in the growing season.
- Mango skin will attract worms from every corner of the bin.
- Peels from avocados can have the same effect.
- Banana peels and over-ripe bananas are easy additions.
- Cantaloupe, especially the rind, is another sure-fire hit.
- And last but not least, corn cobs (ground up) and the residual remnants of the kernels are the most popular food in my indoor Worm Factory.
The extra bonus to these taste temptations? Worms swarm to these foods like neighborhood kids to the ice cream truck. And when worms gather in close quarters … nature being what it is … one thing leads to another … and you will see a quick rise in your red worm reproduction rate!
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Use citrus fruits sparingly. The acid in oranges and lemons can and will cause trouble for your wigglers if you give them too much.
- A balanced diet is critical to the health and well-being of red wiggler composting worms. These sweet foods are popular and appreciated by the worms, but don’t go overboard.
- Remember, it is always a good practice to cut up food into smaller bits and scraps, and if you can store the foodstuff for a few days in a plastic container or a thick, self-sealing plastic bag, let the scraps sit for a few days and “ripen.” It will make the food easier for the worms to digest, and happy worms are productive worms!
- As your red worms’ favorite foods supply an ever-multiplying workforce, you can expect that soon they’ll need more space. Consider an additional worm bin to allow your worm herd to spread out. Without space, worms will maintain their population density by halting reproduction.
Take your hobby to the next level by serving up a consistent menu of red worms’ favorites to assure a healthy and ever-expanding recycling crew. Keep them well-fed and reproducing by adding to your worm bin real estate today!
Article by Donny B
Reproduction dictates survival of a species. Organisms like worms which provide food for many others, must reproduce ample offspring to offset predation. Red wiggler reproductive methods, while simple, are very effective.
Just getting my five year old started on her wiggler worm farm. She gathered about 3000. In about four months she should be well on her way
Wow, that’s fantastic! The kids really do love working with the worms and seeing how they transform so much food and paper waste into poop! I’d say, with about 3000 worms, she’s already well on her way! She’ll have a great show-and-tell opportunity come fall too! Keep up the great worm work!
I am a wildlife rehabber. I would like to try and raise worms to feed the multitude of birds we get in every spring/summer. What size bin do you suggest I start with? I doubt I can raise enough to keep us supplied but it will definitely help supplement.
Jen, what a great work you do! In my opinion, you’d be best off with whichever system could hold the most worms at a time and would provide for easy and regular harvest. The Worm Factory 360 has an 18″ square footprint with up to 7 trays that can each hold well over 1,000 worms. It also allows for tray by tray harvesting making it easy to keep the system running full tilt while you harvest out a portion at a time. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you’d rather have tips, tricks, and expert advice come straight to your inbox, just sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter, http://thesquirmfirm.com/sign-worm-composting-tips/.
I wish you all the best!
Please send me tips on red wigglers. I have just begun with a small worm “condo” and intend to graduate to a larger plastic box as soon as they outgrow the small box. I’m pleased to be able to recycle my veggie scraps.
Hi, Dorothy! I’m so excited to hear you are getting started with a very admirable hobby! We would be happy to send you tips, tricks, and expert advice each month. If you’re not currently subscribed to our newsletter, I’ll advise you to do that. Then you’ll be first in line when our updates and newest articles drop! We send tips and tricks once every month. If you’re already subscribed, then expect the tips and tricks in your inbox very soon and each month following.
will you show pictures of your worm binds system.
doesn’t look like my worms are multiplying as hoped for. i don’t see many mature ones either.
Well, the good news is that it’s only a matter of time before young worms become mature worms. So hold tight! Then once they are mature, that reproduction thing will really take off! Just make sure you’re keeping their conditions ideal and you’ll be sure to find success!
I like to go fishing a lot so I buy my worms from the bait store in a cup. When I’m done fishing I save my worms and put them in a 10 gallon bin. Now I have about 100+ worms. About once or twice a week I dump them out into another bucket to pick through and the ones I want to go fishing with. So I was wondering. Does it hurt the worms eggs or baby worms to be tumbled around so often?
Hi Kenny, good question. I’d say that the least disturbance possible is always going to be best, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do, right? So, gently dumping out your bucket and maybe finger raking, or using a worm composting claw ( https://shop.thesquirmfirm.com/worm-compost-turning-claw/ ) will keep your worms from being punctured, pulled, or sliced by conventional tools. The cocoons should be completely fine. Their little protective sacks are amazingly protective. As long as you continue to see reproduction and that your worms are healthy- you should be good to go!
I would like to start vermiculture for my home but am not sure what quantity I will need for a family of 5. Could you advise?
Hi Tim! Glad you asked. Lots of people are wondering the same thing. A family of five can easily start out with a single pound of worms in a tower composter now (spring), and have it all filled up by the time the snow comes again. This many worms in an area for composting that large (18″ square x 5) would be perfect for your family. If you are all vegetarian you may find starting with a second pound of worms in that same tower works better to start you out more quickly.
Hi Tom! Glad you asked. Lots of people are wondering the same thing. A family of five can easily start out with a single pound of worms in a tower composter now (spring), and have it all filled up by the time the snow comes again. This many worms in an area for composting that large (18″ square x 5) would be perfect for your family. If you are all vegetarian you may find starting with a second pound of worms in that same tower works better to start you out more quickly.
don’t forget to show your worm tower.
I would like to cut down on artificial fertilizers and use worms for fertilization on my grass and to loosen up the soil so I can cut down on my water bill.
Any help is appreciated
Using worms to make natural fertilizer is indeed a great option. The amount of worms you need will depend on the amount of waste you produce everyday. We recommend starting a composting bin with 1 pound of red wiggler worms for an average household. Please note though that it make take at least 45-60 days for your vermicompost to be ready to harvest.
You can find helpful information about getting started with worm composting here:
I have been always amazed at how these small animals are so inept at surviving intense temperature changes in my garage. This winter though, I’m putting my finished compost from my tumbler in the worm bag so as to give them even more insulation for the upcoming winter & hopefully beforehand causing a population boost so that they can huddle in the center for warmth