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10 Fruits Worms Love To Eat

fruits-worms-eatAs a new season of harvest rolls around, fresh peaches, pears, apples and much more will be filling kitchen pantries. It’s a great time of year to make delicious morning smoothies, fresh fruit pies and give your worms a succulent treat!
This year, instead of letting all of your fruit trimmings go to waste, start a compost pile with them or give them to your worm farm! Worms are huge fans of fruit, it’s one of their favorite snacks. Any vermicomposter will tell you how much worms just seem to thrive and produce more when fruit is a staple in their diet.
Since fruit doesn’t have a very long shelf life and it tends to go bad every now and then, chances are pretty good that you’ll have some spoiled fruit to share with them on a semi-regular basis. So what kind of fruits do worms like in particular?

Top 10 Fruits Worms Love To Eat

Worms will eat just about anything, but one of their most favorite dishes is organic fruit trimmings. Yes, that’s right – the stuff that usually ends up in your kitchen garbage disposal or in your trash. They’ll gladly take that off your hands, work on it and turn it into valuable compost!
The big rule to bear in mind when feeding worms fruit is to avoid fruit with citric acid. Fruits you definitely want to avoid include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pineapple. Feeding these types of fruits can cause them to try to crawl away and it may kill them. So that’s what they don’t like.
We here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm would like to share with you the top 10 fruits worms do like to eat. Let’s dive in!
  1. Watermelon
  2. Cantaloupe
  3. Honeydew
  4. Banana Peels
  5. Apple Cores
  6. Peaches
  7. Apricots
  8. Pears
  9. Strawberries
  10. Tomatoes*
*Tomatoes are slightly acidic, but worms still seem to like it and will tolerate it just fine in moderation.
Whether you have an abundance of melon rinds, spoiled apples or fruit trimmings, you can feed them to your worms by slicing them up into manageable portions.
Think of it this way. The next time you are checking out at the grocery store, think of buying fruits and vegetables as a healthy investment not only for you but for your house plants and home garden. Those fruit trimmings can go to your hungry worms and they’ll turn your kitchen waste into some of the most rich, nutritional compost you can get your hands on!

CC image courtesy of SnoRkel at Flickr

55 comments on “10 Fruits Worms Love To Eat

    • The thing to remember with nightcrawlers is that they are more for tilling and aerating your soil than for composting. They don’t consume nearly as much as red wigglers because in nature nightcrawlers are deeper in your soil and are responsible for tilling and aerating the soil. Your smaller worms like red wigglers live in the top layer and are voracious eaters. 1 pound of them can consume 2-5 lbs of kitchen scraps a week. Hope this helps!

  • Can Red Wigglers eat apple seeds safely? (They have trace amounts of cyanide compounds) Especially, if I run them through a blender with the other scraps?

  • Venus Scott says:

    I just rescued a nearly dead, dry earthworm. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I put her/him on a soaked cloth, and gave her some dirt to play with. She isn’t very big, and not looking too good, so I’m guessing she’s a baby?

    I don’t fully understand what else to nurse her back to health. Please help!

    • My Red Wigglers attacked the watermelon rind that I gave them with a voracious appetite. I was amazed. I just gave them the last of what I had. I’ll have to wait till next summer before they can feast again.

      Try it. You’ll be amazed.

  • David N Wallis says:

    how much citrus, if at all, do red wigglers consume? we are on a kick making lemonade, and wondering if the lemon rinds are favorable to put in our new worm composter?


    • Uncle Jim says:

      Hello David,

      Citrus is ok to added in moderation. Too much acidity could cause a mass exodus of the worms. You will want to keep the soil pH neutral, so maybe add crushed egg shells at the same time as adding lemon rinds to balance out the pH.

  • I don’t give mine cherry stones because of the cyanide in the pits, but I did give them a couple mango pits to see what they would do. It was like a worm feeding frenzy! They cleaned those pits clean in less than 24 hours. I am new to worm composting, so it’s fun to see what they eat and how happy they can be…

  • I’m just starting to learn about composting. I had some coffee grounds and egg shells so I just threw them in a container in the refrigerator for the time being. I want to find something to store it in outside. Do I cover the container? If I don’t I will have every animal for 50 miles in it. What do I need to do? I read the list of things I can put in and things not to put in, but I need help to know how to store it. Thank You

  • Jeffrey Frankel says:

    MY wife makes cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving and this year we found an old jar of the studd in the back of the fridge. Can we give it to our worms?

  • Amanda Trimble says:

    My nightcrawlers seem to LOOOOOOOVE apples and apple cores. They go absolutely bonkers so we cut them up and freeze them. When we need to feed our squirm squad we just unthaw what we need in the morning and pop them in with some newspaper.

  • When feeding the worms, do I leave the food on top of the soil or do I mix them in? I noticed that if I left them on top if the soil, there would be mold, but if I mix them in, the heat from the rotton banana peel could kill the worms or send them away. What shall I do? Thanks. Cindy

  • Sherry Parks says:

    Do worms like prunes, or plums as they are now called? I love your web site, it is so informative! Thanks!

  • Patricia A Tait says:

    If you add egg shells to compost, do they need to be cooked shells, or can you compost raw shells?

  • bout feeding worms cherries, dates, plums, mangoes and apple cores. apple seeds have . if I should trace amounts of cyanide, I believe. my ph is around 7.5 and I would like to bring ti down using an organic source. can I puree tangerine peels or whole kumquats. if instead, I shud use a chemical what can I buy in small quanties and what measuements.

  • I’ve been eating apple cores for 60 years! Cyanide does not buildup in the body like mercury. The trace amount you get in apple seeds is flushed from your body in a mater of hours.

    I can’t speak for worm biology. They aren’t mammals and they don’t breath like us, so I don’t know how it may affect them.


    • Hi Phil,

      Passion fruit skin is a great addition to you farm! You can add them in larger pieces or smaller depending on how fast you want the worms to eat them.

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for reaching out! The passion fruit is part of the citrus family, therefore I would not recommend using this as a food source. This could cause the pH in your bin to be thrown off.

      Have a great day,

      Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Team

  • Anthony Turner says:

    I would like to know if I can feed my red wigglers applesauce unsweetened applesauce that I got from the store that I did use

  • I juice daily, and my juice includes several oranges and a lemon, and I have to say my worms LOVE it. So, not really true that they dont eat lemons or oranges. I also give them tomatoes, and people say they hate onions etc. and they do not. I give them onion and leek scraps. They eat everything. The only thing I have not given them off of the ‘no no’ list is pineapple, and this is because it has a digestive enzyme and I am afraid that it would burn them. Other than that, I don’t agree with your list of things not to give worms, because my colony has tripled in one year and they are thriving. Never dead worms, never do they try to escape, and they are constantly multiplying. Tons of baby worms pretty much all the time. CHEERS!

    • Hello Richard!
      You can certainly feed the worms mashed raw carrots. the smaller the pieces, the better. The worms cannot eat the food until it starts to break down but when it is mashed, it will soften much faster!

  • i was wondering if i could feed my worms non-steamed mashed carrots cause I’m a Lil bit of a newbie and i don’t know whats good to feed them and whats not

    • Hi Ryleigh,

      The worms can eat a variety of food! Anything from kitchen scraps, such as: fruits, veggies, eggshells, coffee grounds, grains, bread, and pasta, as well as household waste like paper, paper bags, news paper lawn clippings(aged) and more! You just want to be sure to avoid any processed food, dairy, or meat.

      Uncle Jim’s Team


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