Eggshells: good for worms but slug repellent, why?

noraiFebruary 8, 2011

Why are crushed eggshells good for worms, but some people use them to repel slugs? They both have slimy, squishy bodies, so why is it uncomfortable for one and not the other?

Is it because they more finely ground in the case of the worm bin? If I don't grind them fine enough, will I be causing my worms extreme pain? I have a jar full of eggshells I put through the blender, but there are some larger pieces, and I'm a little scared to add them...

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equinoxequinox

Slugs may have softer bodies. If the egg shells are dry when blended let the blender set until the dust is settled to avoid breathing it in. I am trying to only crush for a bit and live with bit bigger pieces of shell in my seedling starter. I am trying to imagine it is acting like the shards of pottery in terra preta or perhaps even saving one drop of water from such an easy path through my beach sand like soil. But I think it may take a million years for them to disapear. I imagine future anthropologists having to reconstruct the shell back in to shape.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 5:49PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Why is egg shells good for the worms?
I compost the egg shells, because 1)they do not hurt the compost/soil.
2)They do no good in the landfill.
3)It may break down into a usable form in a hundred years or so.
Why should I put it in the worm bed?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:33PM
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norai

It's my understanding that the worms like/need the calcium in the shells, but I also don't want to put them in extreme discomfort by having too many jagged edges in there -- if they're more durable than slugs, that's great - but I don't know for sure. (need a worm whisperer, lol!)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:42PM
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equinoxequinox

The reason I crush the eggs is because they take up so much space. At first I thought this was good so there would be good airflow. But then unlike everything else they never broke up very well and I had large pieces of shell that were never going to be small pieces. The pieces were so large that seedlings would not like it. On the other hand there is something about the smooth inside of half egg shells the worms seek out. Does the calcium slowly leak out at just the right rate? Is it cozy? Does it retain the right moisture? Egg shells need to be collected seperately than other kitchen waste. Or like me one is trying to seperate the two later, no fun. I like rolling over them between two papers. But it seems to take more time than it is worth considering lime cost almost nothing. I feel like a martyr spending time this way. Maybe the food processer would provide more satisfaction. But I hate the thought of using electricity. So I am back to egg shell crushing martyr. There is satisfaction when a gallon of egg shells crushes down to nothing.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:15AM
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SusanfromMontana

I grind my egg shells in a small coffee bean grinder (I live off the grid & don't have a food processor). I add finely ground egg shells because I read that the worms need the shells to grind their food in their gizzard. They are like chickens--no teeth, so they need something to grind the "food" up with. I've also read that you can throw a little dirt on the top once a week to do the same thing. I sprinkle 1 Tablespoon on top once a week and then mix it gently with the top bedding. I haven't a clue why egg shells don't bother worms like they supposedly affect slugs. Good question, though!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:40PM
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moandtg

ee
"On the other hand there is something about the smooth inside of half egg shells the worms seek out. Does the calcium slowly leak out at just the right rate? Is it cozy? Does it retain the right moisture?"

I don't crush my egg shells at all. I just figure that worms reproduce happily in the shells and I want them to be happy. I have thought of it like a home, like a shell for them.

I know I won't want to see egg shells in my finished compost but... that is months away....

Mike

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:08AM
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