Are you looking to start your own compost or improve your garden’s soil health? Nightcrawler worms can be a great addition, but which type should you choose?
Nightcrawler worms are earthworms that come out at night to feed on decaying organic matter. They are commonly used in composting and gardening, as burrowing helps soil aeration and nutrient distribution.
This article provides information about the different types of nightcrawler worms, their characteristics, and how they differ from other worm species. Understanding these differences will assist you in choosing the appropriate worm species best suited for your purpose.
Different Kinds of Nightcrawler Earthworms
Many species of earthworms can be found across the globe, and different types of worms are used for various purposes. Types of earthworms are grouped into different categories, but to keep things simple, we can divide them by the position of the soil they dwell in:
- Burrow worms, also known as anecic
- Endogeic earthworms dwell in and feed on the soil, and
- Epigeic type of earthworms lives on the soil surface.
Some of these worms are great for the aeration of soil, while others are amazing bait for freshwater fish.
The Difference Between Nightcrawlers and Other Worms
Nightcrawler worms, known as Lumbricus terrestris, are the most commonly used earthworms in composting and gardening. These burrowing worms can grow up to 8-10 inches long and weigh about 0.5-1 gram. Nightcrawlers are classified as anecic worms, creating permanent burrows in the soil and coming out at night to feed on decaying organic matter.
These biggest earthworm species are often used as fishing bait, and in vermicomposting, where they consume food scraps and produce nutrient-rich castings that can be used as a soil amendment.
There are many types of nightcrawler worms (also referred to as grunt worms, garden worms, and leaf worms). There’s the European kind and the African and Canadian nightcrawlers.
Canadian Nightcrawlers vs. European
Among all nightcrawlers, the European cousin of the red wriggle worms are the most beneficial earthworms, mainly because of their body weight. However, their cousins from North America and Africa are often underrepresented. As previously mentioned, there are three known kinds of nightcrawlers:
- European scientifically referred to as Eisenia hortensis
- African are called Eudrilus eugeniae,
- Canadian nightcrawlers Lumbricus terrestris.
You can find them burrowing and thriving in most compost heaps or animal manure piles. On the other hand, the Canadian nightcrawler is also large in size and is a very well-liked live fish bait. Also known as Dew worms, Canadians are deep burrowers and are usually placed in less confined spaces (compared to limited spaces that red wrigglers can sustain). As for the African type, these dilly worms can sustain cool conditions. They can also be used for composting.
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 preferred for living fish bait and vermicomposting?
Nightcrawlers as live fish bait
Nightcrawler worms have been popularly used as bait worms for fish because of their constant twisting movement (which makes them very appealing to fish of all kinds). They’ve been used extensively for fishing since they can be submerged underwater for long periods of time (unlike their red wriggler worm cousins).
You can buy them from a local bait store or a worm farm store online. The average recreational fisherman often tries catching a few beautiful worms in the garden after a heavy downpour, as it is more fun and doesn’t cost a penny.
Which Nightcrawler is good for vermicomposting?
The European and African nightcrawlers are usually used for worm composting. There are benefits to using them, but they’re not as preferred by gardeners, especially when used for composting. But the good thing about them is that they can stand low food levels compared to red wrigglers.
Raising nightcrawler worms in worm farms 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 afterward (on your lawn or garden).
Uncle Jim’s recommends the 250 Super Red Worms or European Nightcrawlers
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 ( as deep as 6 ½ feet) when they feel minor shudders in their surroundings. But their burrowing has its advantages, too, since it helps with aerating the soil.
Nightcrawler earthworms are light-sensitive, so they burrow back under the soil in daylight. Because of that, they will come up to the ground at night. This is why fisherman will scour their backyard ground during nighttime and after a good rain (usually when there’s dew on the grass).
Our 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. 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 food source 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.