Snails are breeding in my wormfarm

by Stephan
(Cape Town and Radevormwald)

Unusual snails in a worm bin

Unusual snails in a worm bin

Hello I love recycling my food waste in my worm farm but recently I noticed that there are lots of small snails - round and longish in my worm bin! How can I get rid of them ?


Answer:

Hello Thea your worm farm is in an interesting situation as it is the first time ever that I have seen these kinds of snails in a worm farm! Finding slugs in a worm farm can happen from time to time but these longish snails remind me of those that we can find often on the beach in rock pools. However I did some research and apparently a gentleman in the US was having the same kind of snails in his worm farm.

The snails of their eggs must have gotten into the bin with some worm food that you added a while ago. Was there anything that you added to the bin apart from food waste and other household waste?

Having had a look at the pictures that you sent with your message I don't think the snails are a threat to your worms whatsoever. So there seems to be now imminent danger that your worm farm might get depleted of worms. If you want to get rid of the snails there are 2 things you could try.

1. Most snails love beer so you could set a beer trap inside your worm bin and let it stand overnight. Check the next morning and see if any snails have fallen into the beer trap and if so repeat the action till you caught all the snails.

If this takes to long and you want a relatively fail safe solution for the snail infestation inside your worm bin you should manually separate the worms from the worm food and the castings inside your worm bin. There are likely hidden snail eggs in your worm bin which will hatch even after you removed all the adult snails. So best would be to get rid of the old bedding and food and start your worm farm fresh. Don't wash it with soap that might not be good for the worms.

To separate the worms from the contents of your worm bin place it all on a table in bright light. Push all the worm food and worm castings together till the pile is cone shaped. Now let it stand like this for about 10 minutes. The worms strongly dislike any kind of light and will dig into the pile to escape from the light. After ten minutes scrape all the soil and food of the outside of the cone that you can until you reach the worms. Now wait again for about 10 minutes to give the worms in the pile some time to move deeper into the pile. Then remove more bedding till you get to the worms again. Repeat this several times till you end up with a pile of worms on one side and the bedding on the other.

But take note that this process will be stressful for the worms and you should move them as quickly as possible back into their bin with fresh bedding.
Have a look at my article about starting a worm farm to see how to prepare the bin for your worms. The link can be found at

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/starting-a-worm-farm.html

Discard of the old bedding somewhere in your garden far away from your worm bin. This way the snails should not find their way back into it and you can recycle your food waste without the presence of the unwanted creatures.


I trust this will help.

Kind regards

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

Editor of
www.worm-composting-help.com

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Feb 22, 2021
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Re: Snails in my worm compost bin
by: Stephan

Hello Karl,

I personally had great success catching snails with a beer trap. Alternatively, harvest your worm castings and separate them from the worms as described on our webpage

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/harvest-worm-castings.html

Once done spread the worm castings out in a thin layer and let them be exposed to the sun and or a little wind. Slugs and snails like moist environments and so do snail eggs. Once they have been out long enough any snails that you didn't pick up earlier on will attempt to get out of the sun and try to hide somewhere and the snail eggs will dry out and become infertile.


I never had really major problems with snails although once in the garden they are really difficult to eradicate completely from the area.

Wishing you all the best and Gods richest blessings for you and your family.

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

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

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

Feb 13, 2021
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Snails in compost worms
by: Karl

I have these little spiral snails in my compost worm bin. I wasn't worried about them until I read the comment about them laying millions of snail eggs ready to hatch out when I use my compost for veggies. I will try some beer and see how it goes...Has anybody had much success with this method ?
Karl in Darwin Australia

Jan 04, 2021
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Re: snails in my worm farm
by: Stephan

Hello Kelley, hello Kate,

glad to hear that you managed to reduce the number of snails in your worm farms.

But keep an eye on those soldier fly maggots, as they can really create big problems in many worm bins.

Check out some of my articles about the Black soldier fly maggots on our website for more information.

Kind regards ad rich blessings from

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

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

Dec 29, 2020
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I have reduced the numbers of snails
by: Kate

With the first of the days of the wet season here in September 2020, masses of these snails moved to the top of my Worm Farm house. It had been really hot and humid up until then. There was so many that I was able to use a scoop to remove them. The numbers seem to have stayed static whilst the wet is in full force. I might try the " beer " trap as well. Heaps of Soldier Fly larvae present but the worms seem to be hanging on.

Dec 29, 2020
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Same snails in my worm farm
by: Kelley

I, like Kate, also have these snails in my worm farm in Darwin NT and now, during the wet season, they have multiplied.
I have tried scooping them out but will now attempt the beer trap. Fingers crossed!

Oct 15, 2020
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i have the same snails and they kill the worms
by: majed al Turki

hello all

i wish you are doing well with composting.

i have the same kind of snails here and i am in Saudi Arabia and i have no idea from where they came exactly, i notice they are stoking on the back of the worms and also find worms parlayed and can't move while snails on top of them but when removed the move very fast and if it is not removed the worm will die eventually.

check my Instagram account ( power_of_worms ) i documented with a picture

Sep 14, 2020
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I have the same snails in my worm farm
by: Kate

I have the same snails in my worm farm. They have been there alongside the Slaters that also seem to like my farm. I wondered if they came in with some potting mix I sprinkled over my worm farm or the bamboo leaves I added. They don't seem to affect the worms although I have noticed with the warmer weather they are moving to the top of the box. I live in Darwin NT Australia so heat effects very quickly. I might try and use a pair of tweezers and remove as many as I can, just in case the compete with the worms.

Apr 22, 2019
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re: Weird snail in worm farm.
by: Stephan

Hi Rog,
can you please send a picture of the snails in your worm farm so I can get an idea what they look like?

Kind regards

Stephan

www.worm-composting-help.com

Apr 21, 2019
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Weird snail in worm farm.
by: Rog

Hi Stephen we have found these snails in our worm farm in Australia. First time - never seen them before today. Do you know the species?

Oct 08, 2018
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Re: snails in the worm farm
by: Stephan

Hello,

most snails are living of plant leaves and flowers, decaying matter and algae while others are actually carnivores. Do you know which kind of snails have made their home in your worm bin? Do you have a picture of them? How big are they? Answers to these questions would make it easier to identify them and find a way to get rid of them.

kind regards

Stephan

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

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

Oct 07, 2018
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Will these little snails harm seedlings?
by: Anonymous

I am in the US and have exactly the same problem. I have no problem leaving these snails in the worm bin, but I worry will they harm seedlings when I use the worm castings. I tried soaking the castings for a few hours without luck. I do not like the idea that I am inoculating my garden with a new pest. Are these snails likely to harm my plants?

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