Is Avocado Rind a Natural De-Wormer?

reedandleafJanuary 30, 2012

Hello all,

I've had a longstanding question that I thought I'd poll you guys on. I was wondering if it is safe to give avocado rind to my worms (Eisenia fetida). When I first got the worms (many years ago), they came with a little instructional handout. One of the foods listed as "bad for them" was avocado because, as it said, it can be a natural de-wormer. However, on many vermicomposting websites, avocado rinds are readily listed as appropriate fair for the worm bin. I know that a lot of people do put them in their bins, but in a bin of several thousand worms, would you realistically be able to tell if the ones that ate the rinds crawled away and died? Or even harder to tell, if they did not die but were just sickened? I've been vermicomposting for a long time now and I just love my little guys. I've held back on adding avocado to their diet so far. Avocado is, however, a large part of my diet, and I would love to do something more productive with the by-product than de-worm all of the neighborhood squirrels :)

Thanks for your input!

Couple of references to avocado's dark side:

http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_avocado.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persin

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PeterK2

Never tried it, but you could always do a small experiment if you need some peace of mind. Take a portion of your worms, small enough you can tell if something goes wrong, into a different container and feed them rinds.

I've seen two sides to these 'good' 'bad' food arguments for any number of foods and nothing is ever definitive. If I didn't feed things that had a bad writeup somewhere I'd be cutting out half my foods.

For what it's worth, first hit on google, little suckers sleeping in the stuff hehe..
http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/red-worms-love-avocado/

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:06PM
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reedandleaf

I have thought about it... I would hate to hurt the little guys though. I thought I would poll everyone here first, but I might just have to sacrifice a few in order to answer the question (only as a last resort). Cute pic on the link! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:00PM
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patrick1969

I throw the rinds and the pits in my buckets. Never seen any negative reactions.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:21PM
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CathyCA Zone10(10)

I regularly put rinds in my bins. My only concern is that they don't break down very quickly. Had never heard that they might be bad for the worms.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:27AM
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ken1

Does anyone think putting rotten garbage in your worm bed can be harmful? I just put nasty apples from last summer in my beds, and think it will be fine, but want reassurance. From the smell, I think it's going to make very drunk, but happy worms. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:48AM
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reedandleaf

Thanks for your input everyone!
I heard back from a trusted source. He said that avocado rinds are indeed used as a de-wormer, but for tapeworms not our kind of worms so it should be okay. I did a little test. I put ten worms in a small worm-appropriate container with only chopped up avocado rind and a little wet sawdust as bedding/food. After two days, the worms were still exhibiting stress behavior (all glommed up on one another in a tight ball). Three days after that (so five days total) they were mostly still in a ball and I felt like a terrible person, so I put them back into their bin. All ten were still alive, but I think that had more to do with the fact that they were too freaked out to eat anything ;)
Moral of the story: I think I'll start throwing the rinds in the bin and if the worms want to eat them they will, and if they don't, they won't!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Bama_Joe

Old thread, but you guys had me scared since I have avocados in both my Worm Factory 360's.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Shaul(Israel)

I think the worms were more freaked-out from being thrown into sawdust. I know I would be.
From my own personal experience (over several years), my worms would walk a mile for an Avocado (peel & all). The only thing I don't like about the peel is that it never fully breaks down, but rather breaks in to a million tiny pieces and when you harvest the castings; it's everywhere. I guess it wouldn't matter if you're digging it into your garden, but in potted ornamentals it looks rather unsightly. I usually try to pick out as much of it as possible, when harvesting.

Shaul

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:05PM
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CarlosDanger(13)

IMHO, and because not feeding avocado peelings is something I hardly ever think about because I have access to avocado peelings maybe twice a year, I wouldn't worry about it.

But when I have them, I puree 'em with all the other stuff I've procured to feed. Those peelings may compromise 1% of the slurry which ain't gonna cause a prob. .

Remember....anything organic they'll chow down on.

CD

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Paul_30068(7)

I do it sometimes only because my wife adds to the veggie scrap bin and is not as careful. I have not head about it being a problem but I have observed that avocado peels take a long time to break down. I usually wind up picking them out before I use the castings. It seems that the worms must have liked the avocado meat just fine though because the peel is partially broken down with no avocado meat or slime remaining.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:40AM
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