How To Keep Worms Cool In Hot Weather - Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

How To Keep Worms Cool In Hot Weather

Compost, Live Worms, Outdoor Composters

worms hot weatherSeveral months back, you may remember a post we did about raising composting worms during the winter. Now that the weather is warming up and we’re expecting some heat waves in the not-too-distant future, we here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm want to help you prepare for raising worms in the summer.

It’s not hard to keep them cool and comfortable, but you need to follow these important guidelines or your worms won’t thrive or survive the heat!

How To Keep Worms Cool In Hot Weather

Hot weather can kill worms. Even if they don’t die, it can make them very sick and unproductive. The best way to take care of your redworms this summer is by considering the following tips:

More Moisture

Worms need to be moist to be healthy and happy. Hot air has a tendency of drying things out. If your bedding gets too dry, it won’t be the heat that kills your worms, it’ll be the lack of moisture that does them in. One thing you can do to prevent overly dry conditions is to keep your bedding slightly more moist than usual. But, be careful, you don’t want to add too much water. Just make sure you don’t go too long before adding more water in your compost pile and bedding.

More Depth

The deeper your worms dwell, the less likely they will dry out. Give your worms a place to retreat when they start feeling too warm by providing more depth to their bedding so that they can find a cool place to enjoy.

More Shade

When it’s hot, the easiest way to reduce the effects of heat is to keep your composting unit someplace in the shade. Keeping your worms out of direct sunlight makes a big difference when it comes to worm bed maintenance.

More Harvesting

With hotter temperatures comes more worm hatchlings. You’ll want to keep a watchful eye on the number of worms in your beds to avoid them from becoming too crowded. Fully mature worms don’t necessarily like to mix and mingle with the babies and it may drive them over the top.

More Protection

Another challenge that you’ll be faced with throughout the summer is keeping flies and mites out of your compost pile. Since food scraps tend to attract these specimens, you run the risk of mites taking over your worm beds and laying eggs in the food scraps. To avoid this from happening, you can simply lay a burlap cloth or landscaping cloth over the bedding to protect it from the pesky bugs.
In many areas throughout the U.S., the summer can bring some pretty extreme heat, making outdoor worm composting a challenge. Consider these suggestions this summer and you’ll end up with perfectly happy worms and outstanding compost!
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7 thoughts on “How To Keep Worms Cool In Hot Weather

  1. I’m trying to find out what to do with our worm factories for the summer. We have been raising them in our middle school but summer break starts next week. Do we just dump them outside? CAn they be left in the “factories” all summer with little maintainance?

    1. If you leave them alone, they will die. Dumping them is one option, but new worms next year will cost money. Better to poll your students and find one with a parent willing to babysit the factories over the summer. Make sure they are knowledgeable enough to keep the worms fed and cool in a indoor space, and they should be ready for next fall’s school year.

      1. I would transfer them in a big tote with holes for ventilation to make transporting and storage easier to a temporary home until summer is over.

  2. Can I sprinkle a fine layer of corn meal on top of my worm bin and have that be enough food? What all do Night Crawlers eat?

    1. worms will eat corn meal but it alone should not be used as a food source. Add finely ground oatmeal, wheat flour, finely ground eggshells to make a dry worm food supplement, but always keep the worms supplied with fruit and vegetable scraps (no onion or citrus). You can grind/blend the scraps to make them more worm friendly.

  3. My worm factory is is hot. The temp gauge that was supplied with it is in the red. To compensate for this I added moisture and a couple of blue ice packs i had in my freezer. The worms seemed happy as they swarmed the ice packs. However overnight the packs thaw and the worms that have been drawn to the top by the cool packs are trying to escape rather than burrow back into the bedding. Any advice?

  4. I have a indoor worm bin, I keep them in a room that it roughly 65-70 degrees farrenhieght and it’s been about a month now and I haven’t seen any babies or eggs. is there a specific temp I need to keep them in to lay eggs

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