Too many worms? Worms are balling up!?

by Brett

A ball of compost worms

A ball of compost worms

Hi - I recently started a worm bin and the farm I ordered the worms from screwed up my order a few times, so to “make up for it” they sent me 3 lbs of worms instead of 1. The worms have only been in the bin for about a week, and I’ve given them a few handfuls of food and coir/paper bedding. I also put some water in when they first arrived because the bags they were in were almost like sawdust — super dry. I put extra cardboard and paper on top to make sure it wasn’t too wet. Today I noticed a huge ball of them on one side, and barely any elsewhere. Not sure where to go from here but I don’t want them to die in there! Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Apr 07, 2021
Re: Too many worms? Worms are balling up!?
by: Stephan

Hello Brett,

the way you have described your worm farm setup sounds quite ok but the fact that your worms are all clinging together is not a good sign. Although compost worms quite often take some time to get used to a new worm farm environment which can usually take a few weeks before they will settle into their new home they shouldn't cling altogether. This is normally an indication that they are not feeling comfortable in their new home.

It might be that the bedding of your worm bin is too acidic for the worms and they are huddling together to avoid being burnt.

Another problem could be the fact that worms will only multiply according to the surface area of their worm bins. So if your worm bin is too small for the number of worms you got that might cause some of the worms (most likely the bigger mature ones) to attempt to migrate out of their bin in the dark of the night to find a new home.

These problems disappear in most cases after the worm bin has been in operation for several weeks.

As it is quite difficult to make a more in-depth assessment of your worm bin conditions I suggest you might want to start your worm bin from scratch.

For more information about the subject of how to start a worm farm please have a look at my article at the following URL:

If you want to learn more about the possible reasons for worms attempting to leave a worm bin and how you can prevent them from leaving you might want to check out my article

I hope this will help you and wish you lots of success with your worm composting project.

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

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

Editor of

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