How to Keep Fruit Flies Away from Your Composting

Fruit flies are annoying little bugs that like to invade the house. The Drosophila melanogaster is attracted to organic matter like fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit on the counter or in a bowl can attract them. How do they get in the house? Are they preventable? Are there natural methods to get rid of them? For over 40 years, these questions have been bugging Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm customers. Fruit Flies in the House Sometimes a fertile fruit fly comes in through an open door or window. It’s more likely, however, that their eggs, pupae, or larvae have hitched a ride in your produce. Just beneath the surface of fruits and vegetables is where fruit flies like to lay their eggs. Once in your house, they typically stay near sources of food, though they also gather near sinks and other places, like your kitchen scrap bin and composting bin. Composting Whether it’s inside or outside, families who compost tend to collect their wasted organic materials in a bin or pail before moving them to their composting bin. Many families make use of vermicomposting, which means their bin contains worms that break down leftover food scraps into fertilizer. Worms quicken the composting process. The best composting worms are Red Wigglers. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is #1 when it comes to composting worms and supplies. People like vermicomposting because it provides them with all-natural fertilizer that is more nourishing than regular compost. All composting is great for the environment, but fruit flies will …

Read More

Composting Worms and How They Move

Worms are ancient creatures that have been moving through the Earth’s soil for many, many years. But, how exactly do they move forward? Worms do not have legs, so they must use other methods to travel. What Makes A Worm? Earthworms are a part of the phylum Annelida, which is Latin for “little rings.” This is because they have small rings around their body that are referred to as “segments,” which are crucial to their movement. Without these segments, they would likely not be able to move. These segments contain eight small bristles called “setae.” To move, worms use these bristles to clutch the soil around them. The only segments that do not have setae are the first segment, the head, and the last segment, the tail. While the head usually moves forward, worms can move backward as well. Like most creatures, the mouth is contained in their head and it allows them to eat food and soil. They produce humus (poop) out of their tail. This worm humus is what vermicomposters collect to use as an all-natural fertilizer. Worms do not have any bones, which allows them to squeeze into small spaces and grants them unrestrained movements. They create tunnels as they move through the soil by eating whatever matter comes before them. As they move through these tunnels, their bodies emit mucus that helps to steady the tunnels. The tunnels that these worms create are vital for the health of the soil because they bring air, water, and nutrients. How Do Worms …

Read More

The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms

To have the best vermicomposting experience, your worms need the best bedding. Our Red Worms are the best for composting. They will savor your leftovers and produce the best organic fertilizer. The good news is that there are multiple different beddings to choose from for your worms. Uncle Jim has pre-made bedding that you can buy. You can also make your own worm bedding from objects already in your house! Any bedding should mimic a worm’s natural environment. To do this, the bedding should be: Soft and gentle (nothing that might cut their delicate skin!) Porous enough to allow airflow (worms breathe through their skin) Neutral pH balance of 7 Moist (but not too moist, like a wrung-out sponge) Non-toxic Edible materials Our recommended beddings for your vermicomposting bin are: Fall Leaves are good to use as bedding as long as they have been composted beforehand. Fall leaves are currently very abundant. Rake them into a pile and leave it outside through the winter. They will be ready to use as bedding by the time spring rolls around. Brown Corrugated Cardboard can be found in almost any home. Most stores will also give it to you for free if you ask. Your worms will love this type of bedding in the bin. Just shred it or tear it into pieces. Shredded Paper, so long as it is unbleached or from black-ink only newspapers, can make for some good bedding when mixed with other materials. Avoid any bleached office/printer paper or newspapers with colored ink, junk mail, or envelopes containing plastic because these will …

Read More

Vermicomposting for Beginners

“Vermi” means something that deals with worms, so when you are vermicomposting, you are composting with worms. All you need to do to vermicompost is feed your worms food scraps—it’s that easy! The worms will eat this food and turn it into your own organic fertilizer that you can use in your garden, lawn, and even houseplants. This fertilizer has many names, including worm castings, worm feces, humus, or worm manure. You will need several basic materials before you start composting. Your Worms First things first, you’re going to need worms! The Red Wiggler is our “King” of composting. Not only are they great at composting, but they are also known for doubling their original population in as little as three months. European Night Crawlers (Super Reds) are another option, and are great for fishing bait, as well! Super reds can also be released into your garden and lawn to aerate. Uncle Jim’s is your go-to worm supplier and ships all year throughout the continental United States. Composting Bins Your worms are going to need a place to call home. Composting trays are one of the best options, as they are very easy to maintain and harvest. They won’t get too heavy, so they are also easy to lift if they need to be moved. Click here to browse Uncle Jim’s composting tray selection. You can also use any basic plastic tote. This instructional video will show you how. Bedding You will need bedding for your worms to live in. …

Read More