When you need worms for vermicomposting, your best bet is to order Red Wigglers from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. We ship all over the contiguous United States and the worms are guaranteed to arrive alive, or we will replace them. What can you expect when you order live vermicomposting worms?
Always remember that these worms are living creatures. They are hearty earth-dwellers who can survive in a fairly wide temperature range. However, in a package, they can get too hot, too cold, too hungry or too dry.
We want our dear worms to survive the trip. That’s why we take extra care to help ensure their safe journey to your home, garden, business or school. Here are some of the methods we use.
Shortest Trip Possible
We ship only to the contiguous United States, not Hawaii, Alaska or territories. This means we can use the trusty United States Postal Service to deliver the goods in 3 days or fewer via priority mail. The vast majority of the time, the journey length falls into these safe parameters.
Additionally, we ship on Mondays. This point in particular can rattle our customers. For example, some customers order in the middle or end of the week and expect a package to show up a couple of days later – even right after a weekend. Unlike shoes or clothing, worms are alive. Imagine if you were a worm in a package with 1,999 other worms, and you were stuck on a hot – or cold – loading dock over the weekend. You wouldn’t make it. Many of our customer service calls are some variation on “Where are my worms?” and most of the time, the answer is, “They will ship out on Monday via Priority Mail.” We usually send an email to our customers when the worms ship that includes a tracking number, so you can see where your worms are.
If the weather is extremely hot, or extremely cold, we may delay shipping by a few days or a week. Better they arrive late than… late!
We receive orders and inquiries every week asking us to ship to Canada or overseas. Unfortunately, for our worms’ safety and for export reasons, we can’t ship outside of the USA.
The New Home Must be Ready
It’s important to get your worms set up in their new homes as soon as possible after they arrive. They need to get put into their composter, with fresh bedding that is as moist as a wrung-out sponge. (Note: Do not over-react by dousing your worms with large amounts of water when they arrive or they will likely drown.) They also need food in their new home. If a customer orders one of our composters, such as our best-selling Worm Factory 360, we delay sending the worms until we are sure the new composter has had time to arrive. That way, you have a chance to receive the box, open it, and follow directions to set it up.
Sometimes this means you order on a Wednesday, your composter arrives the following Tuesday, we ship the worms the following Monday and you receive them Wednesday or Thursday, two weeks after placing the order. If this happens, don’t panic! We are looking out for your worms’ welfare! It is also less work for you than having to set up a temporary compost bin, which is about as much trouble as setting up a permanent bin.
When you order worms without a composter, make sure your compost bin is ready. You might need to run to the garden store to buy some peat moss or other suitable vermicomposting bedding. Have some easy-to-break-down food scraps ready for the first feeding, such as left-over applesauce, vegetable peelings, and fruit pieces. Your worms will set to work and start eating the scraps and bedding. In a short time, you will have plenty of dark organic fertilizer to put on your plants, as well as “compost tea” to spray on your lawn.
We pack our worms in dry peat moss and place them inside a special breathable bag. This is placed in a sturdy box, such as a USPS priority mailing box. Sometimes the box gets a bit crushed but the bag of worms is kind of squishy, and usually flexes when compressed.
Keep Them Safe
It’s best to have someone available to receive the worm package, if possible. This is especially true in extreme weather. If you end up having to leave your worms in their bag overnight, beware of pets (indoors) and wild animals (outdoors). Put them someplace where they can breathe, not get too cold or too hot, and out of the reach of curious or hungry animals.
We have additional information about choosing worms, ordering worms, choosing a composter and setting up your composter on the Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm website. Enjoy your vermicomposting experience! It helps save resources and nourishes the earth–literally!