ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Worm Compost Bin Troubleshooting

Updated on June 17, 2011

Need Help With Your Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin?

Worm compost bins typically don't require much maintaining, but you do need to make sure the Red Wiggler worms have an environment that will allow them to flourish. If you have the proper temperature range, moisture and food content in your worm compost bin...you will have happy worms. This lens will take a look at the most common problems you may encounter with your worm compost bin, and most importantly how to fix them!

Haven't started your worm compost bin yet?

Click HERE to get started.

Most Common Worm Compost Bin Problems

See below for how to deal with these problems...

  • ~ Worm compost bin smells bad
  • ~ Worm compost bin attracts flies
  • ~ Red Wiggler worms are dying
  • ~ Worms crawling out of compost bin
  • ~ Mold forming in worm compost bin
  • ~ Bedding drying out in worm compost bin
  • ~ Water collecting in bottom of worm compost bin
  • ~ Mites in worm compost bin

Worm Compost Bin Smells Bad

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Over feeding

Stop feeding for 2 weeks

Non-compostables present

Remove non-compostables

Food scraps exposed

Bury food completely

Bin too wet

Mix in dry bedding; leave lid off

Not enough air

Fluff bedding


Worm Compost Bin Attracts Flies

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Food scraps exposed

Bury food completely

Too much food; especially citrus

Don't overfeed worms


Red Wiggler Worms Are Dying

Click HERE to buy Red Wiggler Worms

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Bin too wet

Mix in dry bedding; leave lid off

Bin too dry

Thoroughly dampen bedding

Extreme temperatures

Keep temperature between 55 & 77°F

Not enough air

Fluff bedding

Not enough food

Add more bedding and food scraps


Worms Crawling Out of Bin

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Bin conditions not right

See solutions above; Leave lid off


Mold Forming in Worm Compost Bin

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Conditions too acidic

Cut back on citrus fruits


Bedding Drying Out

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Too much ventilation

Dampen bedding; keep lid on


Water Collecting in Bottom of Worm Compost Bin

CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Poor ventilation

Keep lid off a few days; Add dry bedding

Feeding too much watery scraps

Less coffee grounds & watery food scraps


Mites in Worm Compost Bin

Although earthworms have few natural enemies, insects are attracted to worm beds because they provide a moist, organic environment. If worm beds are not cared for properly, acidity can build up and create conditions that allow worms' natural enemies to thrive. Mites in particular are attracted to an acidic, moist environment. Although small populations of mites reside in all worm beds, under certain conditions mites can reach very high levels and cause problems.

Mite Prevention

~ Too much water: Beds that are too wet create conditions that are more favorable to mites than worms. Avoid excessively wet beds by adjusting watering schedules, improving drainage, and turning bedding frequently.

~ Overfeeding: Too much food can cause an accumulation of fermented feed in worm beds and lower the pH of the beds. Adjust feeding schedules so that all feed is consumed within a few days. Modify feeding schedules as the seasons (and temperatures) change because worms consume less food in colder temperatures. Maintain beds around a neutral pH 7; use calcium carbonate to adjust the pH level.

~ Excessively wet or fleshy feed: Vegetables with high moisture content can cause high mite populations in worm beds. Limit the use of such feed, and if high mite populations are discovered, discontinue the use of this feed until mite populations are under control.

Mite Removal

Several methods have been suggested for removing mites from earthworm beds. Bear in mind that any type of mite removal will only be temporary unless worm bed management is altered to make conditions less favorable for mites. The following techniques range from low- to high-intensity measures.

~ Method #1: Uncover the worm beds and expose them to sunlight for several hours. Reduce the amount of water and feed. Mites will not like this environment and they may leave the worm beds.

~ Method #2: Place moistened newspapers or burlap bags on top of the beds, and remove the paper or bags as mites accumulate on them. Repeat this procedure until mite populations are substantially reduced.

~ Method #3: Place pieces of watermelon or cantaloupe rind or potato slices on top of the worm beds. Mites are attracted to the sweetness of the rinds or peels, and will accumulate on them. The rinds or peels can then be removed and dropped in water or buried.

Hello and thank you for stopping by my lens. Have you tried composting with worms? If so, do you have any information you'd like to share? Questions and comments are always welcome.

Stop By & Say Hi

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Melon rinds can be used to combat a mite problem. keep the rinds flesh side down but keep it accessible on the top because the mites and larvae will migrate to the melon and after the bin is clear of the mites, pick out the rind which is now full of mites and larvae and dispose of separately.

    • SallyCin profile imageAUTHOR

      SallyCin 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: It is best to bury all food scraps. This way you can avoid fruit flies and other pests.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      should mellon rinds be buried or placed on top of bin

    • SallyCin profile imageAUTHOR

      SallyCin 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, Thanks for your comment. You want to make sure your worm bedding is moist to begin with. Soak the bedding and then wring it out like a damp sponge. Food scraps should also be this moist. After adding everything to the worm compost bin, place a few pieces of newspaper that are moist on top of the whole area of the bin. This should help keep it moist. If you are using a worm composter outside, I'd suggest getting a Worm Factory, they are small enough to keep inside your house or even garage. Hope this helps. Happy Composting! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      I tried composting with worms a few years ago, and I didn't have much luck. I live in Phoenix, and the air here is so dry. I couldn't seem to keep the bin wet enough for the worms. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • SallyCin profile imageAUTHOR

      SallyCin 

      8 years ago

      @GonnaFly: It's quite easy and a great educational tool. Many schools have their own worm bins to teach kids about the environment.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 

      8 years ago from Australia

      I have only ever tried ordinary composting, but with all this information, I should probably give worm composting a go....

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)