All my worms disappeared from my worm farm?

by Stephan

Good afternoon Stephan


I bought a worm farm from you last year. The worms were really doing well
and kept on reproducing, and I even bought a third bin for my farm, and
divided the worms between the 3 bins. However, I’m now quite sad, since all
my worms are gone …and I really mean ALL of them! I’m not sure if I perhaps
didn’t give them enough food and they all decided to go look for greener
pastures somewhere else (hopefully in my own garden at least!). I guess I
didn’t close the lid or maybe didn'’t fit one of the bins on top of the other
bins properly….I don’t know.

Is it “normal” for all the worms to “escape” if they are not happy (maybe
not enough food), if there is an opening for them to go through?

I obviously need to get new worms now…… do you have in stock?

Regards


Answer:


Hello,

I am sorry to hear about the disappearance of all your worms. To give you an adequate analyzes of what happened I would need some more information about the condition of your worm farm once you noticed that all the worms had gone?

Was it maybe quite wet, soggy and smelly? If that is the case than I suspect that your worm farm had an infestation of Black soldier fly maggots.

Have a look at the page in the following link. On that page I wrote a little more about the problem with black soldier fly maggots in worm farms.

Here it is: http://www.worm-composting-help.com/worm-farm-bedding-has-become-very-very-wet-and-smelly.html

I hope this will help. If you need more information please let me know.

Yes we do have worms in stock and you are welcome to place an order.

I am looking forward to hear from you.

All the best and blessings for you and your family!

Kind regards

Stephan
Editor
of
www.worm-composting-help.com

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Jan 30, 2017
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Re: All my worms disappeared out the water outlet..
by: Stephan

Hi,

I am sorry to hear that your worms have all drowned. Compost worms of the variety "Eisenia fetida" are the most common worms found in worm bins. They can handle temperatures inside their bedding up to 30 degrees C. Anything above that can kill them or force them to look for a cooler environment.

That is probably what happened and why they tried to escape through the tap of your worm bin. It is always good to have the worm bin in a shady place in summer and ideally quite full with bedding and processed worm castings as they can act as an insulation barrier for the worms in case of a very hot day. Another option to avoid further loss of worms in the future could be to place them inside a box of polystyrene. They are relatively easy to build at home and not that costly either.
You can see a box that I build for one of my worm farms on the following page:

http://www.worm-composting-help.com/worm-farm-preparation-for-winter.html


Once again I am sorry to hear about the loss of your worms but did you check if they are all dead as they can actually survive submerged under water as long as the water contains enough oxygen. You might be lucky and a few of them survived? But obviously the more worms are in the water the quicker they will use up any available oxygen in the water.

Kind regards and God bless!

Stephan Kloppert
Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

Jan 28, 2017
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All my worms disappeared out the water outlet
by: Anonymous

We had a ridiculously hot day yesterday, 43*, and all my worms exited the worm farm out the water tap and drowned in the bucket.
I presume they went looking for deeper, cooler soil, and went too far?

Jun 01, 2016
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my worms are all disappearing from my bins
by: Lualna

I am having the same problem, my worms are all disappearing. However, I have been worm composting in the same bins in the same place in my basement for 3 years. I have been successful in the past, to the point that I was able to stock 3 bins for Christmas gifts the year before last, as well as starting a new bathtub outdoors in the shade.

This past winter there were times when I was not able to feed as often, so I was not surprised that the numbers were down somewhat this spring. However, they have continued to dwindle, no matter what I do. There were a lot of the little white wire worms, so I finely ground some egg shells and added that to top of the feed each time I fed. At first I thought that was helping, but over time I have lost more and more. I was only able to harvest a small amount of castings for my garden, and now I am almost out of worms completely. It is the same in all beds, although the one outdoors may have frozen in the winter, and did not have as fine a bedding as the last year, when they not only survived, but thrived.

For my indoor bins I use shredded paper and cardboard. Sometimes I put the food through a blender before feeding, or I may freeze and thaw to soften.

I might mention that I have had an unusual amount of fruit flies this year, even though I am careful to fully cover the feed. I did try spraying the air above one bin with fly spray, but was careful to not get it directly on the bedding. I wonder if that could have be the problem, as some may have settled on the bedding?

What do you suggest?

Jun 01, 2016
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Re: worms disappearing from my worm farm
by: Stephan

Hello Lualna,

since you have run your worm farms successfully for several years I am sure that you have been doing a lot of things right.
Obviously if your outdoor bed where frozen the worms will most probably not have survived. But the worms in your indoor bins, should be alright. Fruit flies are a nuisance but generally not a problem for worms in a worm bin. If you want to control fruit flies in the future I suggest you read my page

http://www.worm-composting-help.com/fruit-flies.html

If all parameters of your worm farms have been similar to those in previous years the only thing that might have caused problems for your worm bins might have been the fly spray! If it was poisonous for flies it might as well be poisonous for your worms. Even though you tried to cover the surfaces of your worm bins, some of the spray might have ended up on the food and bedding and polluted both.

I think it might be best if you give your remaining worms a fresh start. I suggest you remove all the food and bedding from your bins, separate all your worms from food and bedding, carefully wash your bins out to remove any harmful pollutants and place your worms in the bins with a good worm bedding.

Give your worms a few weeks to settle into their new environment and than slowly start to introduce worm food again.

I hope you will be able to safe your worm herd and they will start to multiply again.

Good luck and keep me posted

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of "www.worm-compostsing-help.com

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