Red worms are efficient. Because of their ability to process food quickly (three times their weight a week, or more), red worms (Eisenia foetida) are ideal for aiding the decomposition of organic matter. They reduce the volume of what they consume in a week by about two thirds. Red worms transform food waste and manure into “castings” (worm poop), rich in supportive elements that make it an excellent soil amendment. They improve the structure of the soil. When they burrow, red worms till the soil around the root areas of plants, thus improving soil aeration, porosity, and permeability as well as aiding in water retention (due to increased access to plant roots) and drainage in the soil. All of these enhance mineral and moisture absorption of plants as well as reduce water use and soil erosion.
Red worms are easy to care for. Because red worms prefer the compost environment and are happiest at temperatures between 50 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, they can easily be kept indoors at home, school, or the office. However, they are adaptable, and will survive within a wide range of environmental conditions, and thus lend themselves well to transforming waste in a variety of systems and climates.
Red worms are a renewable resource. Unlike other earthworms, red worms multiply rapidly and live within the top ten inches of the soil (as opposed to burrowing deeply), remaining plentiful in the same general area as long as conditions are favorable. They mature in approximately eight weeks and double their population in about four months, surviving solely on organic waste products and water. Thus, an investment in a small population, if well cared for, will quickly reduce waste, generate vermicompost (“black gold”), and provide plenty of worms to perpetuate this process.
Red worms are versatile. Red worms are used for composting kitchen scraps and manure management for cows, horses, pigs, and rabbits. They are commonly used to turn yard and landscape debris and biosolids into soil enriching vermicompost. Red worms are frequently used on organic farms to create vermicompost for use as a soil amendment and compost tea, a rich, nourishing liquid. Both aid in non-toxic pest control and substitute for harmful inorganic fertilizers. Red worms are used on farms, gardens, and lawns for aerating and increasing porosity and permeability of the soil. Because red worms will also consume paper, they are used by hospitals, offices, schools, and other paper-intensive environments for waste reduction. Fish and poultry farms, and even people in some areas of the world, use red worms as an earth-friendly source of protein.
Our red worms are packaged in their home environment and food source (our homemade organic compost) and are shipped moist. They are happier that way. We add the compost after weighing your worms so you are sure to get one pound of solid worms for every pound you order! There are about 500 worms in a pound, although you may get up to 800 per pound including eggs and immature worms.
Some growers ship their worms in coco peat, but this is not their natural environment. The coco peat tends to shock the worms and, as a result, quite a few do not make their final destination.