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Types of Nightcrawler Worms

nightcrawlersThere are many types of nightcrawler worms (also referred to as grunt worms, garden worms, and leaf worms). There’s the European kind, as well as the African and Canadian nightcrawlers. They are the perfect worms for live fish bait; and are a good food source for different kinds of reptiles, amphibians, and birds. But which nightcrawlers are more preferred when it comes to live fish bait, and for vermicomposting? Let’s find out more below.

Nightcrawlers and its kinds

Raising nightcrawlers is simple. You’ll just have to provide them a worm bin with some earthy soil (and of course some organic food supply), that you can store indoors (in your basement or garage) or outdoors afterwards (on your lawn or garden).

Also take note that nightcrawlers have no eyes or ears. They only sense the motion of things through vibrations. They typically burrow down the soil (can burrow as deeps as 6 ½ feet) as soon as they feel minor shudders in their surroundings. But their burrowing has its advantages too since it helps with the aerating of the soil. They’re also sensitive to light that’s why they burrow back under the soil when it’s daylight. Aside from that, they’re usually seen feeding at night, and after a good rain (usually when there’s dew on the grass). They’re also thicker and larger in size (grows as long as 14 inches!) compared to red worms.

And as previously mentioned, there are three known kinds of nightcrawlers; and these are the European nightcrawlers (referred scientifically as Eisenia hortensis), African nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae), and Canadian nightcrawlers (Lumbricus terrestris).

The European nightcrawler worm is actually the worm cousin of red wrigglers. But they only differ in the size (European’s are larger). You can find them burrowing and thriving in most compost heaps or piles of animal manure. The Canadian nightcrawler on the other hand is also large in size, and is a very well-liked live fish bait. Also known as Dew worms, Canadian’s are deep burrowers; and are usually placed in less confined spaces (compared to limited spaces that red wigglers can sustain). As for the African type, these are worms that can sustain cool conditions. They can also be used for composting.

Nightcrawlers as live fish bait

Nightcrawler worms have been popularly used as bait worms for fish, and for their constant twisting movement (which makes them very appealing to fish off all kinds). You can either buy them from a local bait store, or from a worm farm store online. But if you’d rather not spend, then you can always try catching several ones in your garden after a heavy downpour. They’ve been used extensively for fishing since they can be submerged under water for long periods of time (unlike their red wiggler worm cousins).

Which Nightcrawler is good for vermicomposting?

The European and African  nightcrawlers are usually the ones being used for worm composting. There are benefits to using them but they’re not as preferred by gardeners especially when it’s used for composting. But the good thing about about them is that they can stand low food levels compared to red wigglers.

Uncle Jim’s recommends the 250 Super Red Worms or European Nightcrawlers

Uncle Jim's worm Farm Super Red European NightcrawlersOur 250 Super Red Worms or European Nightcrawlers can grow for as long as 6 inches long; and can also be used for your gardening needs. It’ll help your garden or lawn soil become well aerated and fertilized too. Not only that, it burrows deep under the ground to allow water and nutrients to reach the root systems of your garden or lawn. It’s also a good source of food for other animals; and a great live bait for fish. Order yours from us today!

To know more about the product, check the 250 Super Red Worms or European Nightcrawlers here.

11 comments on “Types of Nightcrawler Worms

  • Mike Hasler says:

    I have a photo of what looks like a night crawler I took a couple of years ago here in Tx. next to a tape measure that was well over 2 foot long!!! What do you think it could be? Have a .jpg file if your interested

    Reply
  • Dean Treadwell says:

    I live in Phoenix and would like to know if I can raise night crawlers in a dirt / compost/ soil amendment mix. I can wet it down regularly (how often?) I have some tortoises in an outside habitat including the dirt pile. Would like to raise the worms to produce feed for the tortoises as well as let them dig and self feed? Your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Dean: You can follow any of the guidelines that have been produced for raising nightcrawlers. There are a number of good short videos on You Tube. You will be limited to the African NC and the European NC. Both will provide some composting for you as well as be good for feeding to your reptiles. The Canadian’s are not well suited for the lower states because they need cooler soil temperatures. As long as there exists some organic food for them to eat, they will stay, with the addition of some moisture.

      Reply
  • Homer Barfield says:

    Do you sell books on how to make worm boxes? Do you sell books on how to raise EarthWorms? Do you sell worm food? I would like to raise some Nightcrawlers for my own use! Do you sell the five draw worm boxes? What worm equipment do you sell? I want to buy and raise the Canadian Nightcrawlers! Please let me hear back because I will need more supplies so time goes by! Thank You!

    Reply
  • I recently came across a post of invasive earthworms. Are any of them invasive in the United States that we should ne aware of?

    Reply
  • What is the coldest temperature Canadian nightcrawlers can withstand in a worm box? I am about to worm farm and I need advice on where to keep them. I live in Cheyenne, WY and my garage is not heated. I prefer outside if they can withstand the occasional below zero temps.
    Thank you in advance

    Reply
  • Steven McCoy says:

    Thinking of getting a small farm going for fun and for fishing. and thinking of nightcrawlers I have read alot of your information and been very helpful thank u. I’m looking to buy some stuff not to expensive just for myself and a friend. what do u think would be best ? Thank u for any information u might could help me with.

    Reply
    • Hello Steven;

      You can build your own worm bin inexpensively using some things you already have around the house. If you have 2-3 5 gallon buckets or an old storage tote with a lid, you are on your way! Look up DIY worm bins on line and you will find instructions for several types of bins. It only requires that you drill holes in the bottom of the buckets or bin for drainage, around the top sides for oxygen and air flow and the lid if the bin will not be exposed to rain or water. Add some dirt or peat moss mixed with shredded paper, leaves, cardboard and dampen it, add the worms and the lid….You have a productive worm bin!. You can feed them your kitchen and household scraps every 3-4 days or when the food is almost gone to avoid overfeeding. We recommend reading what to feed the worms and what is important (browns and greens ratio). Also, The Night Crawlers require 10-12 inches to burrow so you can stack 2 or more buckets on top of one another for them to burrow in. This is also on line.

      We wish you much success with your worm farm!
      Uncle Jim’s

      Reply

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