Raising Worms

It doesn't matter if you are raising Red wigglers, African nightcrawlers or European nightcrawlers, they all have the same basic needs:

1) Food

2) Water

3) Darkness

4) Warmth

5) Air


Worms need food to live. The waste food you provide for the worms breeds microorganisms which the worms in turn eat. There are several types of foods you should probably avoid  feeding your worms.

Don'ts: Meat, Dairy, Acidic foods like lemons, or greasy foods.

They can handle most of these things, but they either don't prefer them or they could attract unwanted creatures into your bin like maggots!

Do's: Fruits and Veggies, grass clippings, leaves, animal manure (from animals that havn't been wormed recently).

It also helps your worms if you cut up the food scraps you are giving them into smaller pieces. This will increase the surface area (for more microorganisms) and prevent you bin from going anaerobic (see Air) and getting smelly.


Your worms won't need a water bowl, but they do need moisture. Without it they will die. If a worm ever escapes your bin, you will usually find them shrivled up a foot or two away from your bin the next day. This is because they need moisture. If you are using a plastic bin, you will probably have to water your bedding a few times when you are just starting out so it has adequate moisture. From then on the food scraps you put in will already contain enough moisture. A common rule of thumb is that if you squeeze a handful of bedding, only a few drops of water should come out.


Worms hate light. In fact, I recommend poeple who just ordered worms to leave the light on over the bin for the first couple of nights. This will cause the worms to dig into your bedding and not try to escape. If a worm cannot get away from the light for an extended period of time, it can actually be damaging to them. So keep the lid on your worm bin.


The Red wigglers (Eisenia Fetida) and European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) are very tolerent of both heat and cold. These two types of worms can survive anywhere from 34F to the 90s. With that being said, if your worms are at 34F they will probably slow down and not eat and reproduce as quickly as they would if they were warmer.

The African Nightcrawlers (Eudrillus Eugeniae) need to be kept at warmer temperatures and will die if you get them too cold. Keep them at temperatures 60F and above.

The Canadian Nightcrawlers (Lumbricus Terrestris) are the worms you have to keep refrigerated and are mainly used for fishing.


Worms need oxygen to breath. A good bedding material like shredded cardboard is good to help air flow through your bin. Air also prevents your bin from going anaerobic which would cause acid to be produced along with foul odors.