Random Worm Facts

Here are some facts about your vermicomposting worms that you may not know: Worms are blind and move around in the dark. And it’s not because they’re wearing dark sunglasses – they don’t even have eyes. Worms are afraid of the light. They move away from it because they know that if they are exposed to it for too long (e.g. around an hour) they will become paralyzed. Worms can tunnel way down in the soil. And they can take over your land. For example, in one acre of land, there can be up to a million of them. It’s like an invasion happening when you’re not watching. Small earthworms wiggle through the earth at about 0.2 centimeters per second, which works out to about 27 feet per hour. A medium-sized earthworm can go at about one and a half centimeters per second, which is about 185 feet per hour. And really big earthworms (about 8 and half grams) crawl at about 2 centimeters per second, which is about 240 feet per hour. They’re not as fast as the Australian tiger beetle, which has been recorded speeding along at 6.8 km/h (4.2 mph) or 171 body lengths per second. But they’re not as slow as the banana slug, which only averages around 32.5 feet per hour. Or coral, which doesn’t even go anywhere. Worms can become giants. For example, one earthworm in South Africa was 22 feet long. And one Australian earthworm weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds. Worms are …

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Keeping Your Worms Warm and Cozy for the Winter

If you live in Florida or another warm location, you may not need to worry about your worms over the winter. But your worms will start to die off if temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They do best when the air temperature is above 57 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are unsure what temperatures your worms are experiencing, you can use a compost thermometer. Take the temperature in several spots to get a clear indication of the situation. If you know the cold weather won’t last long, you might just add a little insulation around your worms. For example, you could add some old blankets, old carpets, old socks, dryer lint, hay bales, insulation foam, or bubble wrap – whatever you have at hand. But the worms still need some air and moisture, so make sure to leave some gaps in your insulation. If you live in an area where frosts are a regular occurrence or where you regularly get snow, you have these choices: Leave them in the outdoor bin. Your worms will bury themselves deep in the bin as a way to survive the winter. They might even try to escape and dig down in the soil. Make sure the bin has lots of matter that can rot and provide warmth as part of the decomposition process. For example, you could use apples that no one wanted to eat. If you are emotionally attached to your worms, though, don’t count on this generation of worms making it through …

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