Worms trying to escape!

paper_crane2(5a)March 12, 2013

I'm not sure why they are trying to escape because everything seems fine. The bedding is not too wet or too dry, and there is food (but not too much so the bin smells). There is a bit of mold, could that be it? I read that it wasn't really a problem, just a natural thing. The bedding that I have is shredded leaves and brown paper bags.

Any tips would be helpful, thanks!

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Usually worms try and escape either because: 1) It is a new worm-bin which has not been seasoned. Microbes have not built up and worms have been moved to a new home, or 2) A low-pressure weather system passes over.

A low-watt light over the bin at night should stop wanderers until the bin ages or the storm passes. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:41PM
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DWD2(10a, Sunset 17)

It can also be that you have added something that has lowered or raised the pH of your bin to a place that makes the worms want to leave.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:30AM
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What is the bin temperature? Is it a plastic bin? With low ambient temp., a plastic bin has condensation on the walls and the worms start climbing the walls.
As mendopete suggested, a light over the bin will keep them down unless there's something really really wrong going on in it.

This post was edited by otis11 on Wed, Mar 13, 13 at 14:14

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Add a drizzle of molasses and see if that doesn't help keep them around, too. Molasses adds some goody microbes and helps kill off the bad microbes, too. Not a lot.. just a touch. (unsulfured black strap molasses)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:37AM
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Thanks everyone for your answers!

ChickenCoupe, how much molasses? Like 2 tablespoons? And should I put it in one spot under the bedding?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:09AM
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I've been trolling around this forum for a few months now and started my worm bin in a pair of 18 gallon rubbermaid tubs. Seems like a few of the little guys always are hanging around up top on the lip. Sounds like this is a fairly common occurance with a lot of people's bins. With my wandering worms, it seems like they go up top in pairs. Anyone think the worms may be climbing up to make out pointe to mate?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:50PM
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I have noticed the same thing. My bin is only about a month old. I go down to feed them about every 3-4 days and there are always a few dozen worms on the walls and on the ridge by the handles. I would think they are trying to escape, but they never crawl out the holes in the sides (which would seem to be a pretty easy escape route). Are they trying to escape, just exploring, or as Niivek said, "climbing up to make out pointe to mate"?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:15AM
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How many worms have you got and in what size bin? because unless you've got more than several thousand, feeding them every 3-4 days sounds much too often. That might be your problem. Under optimum conditions, worms will (theoretically) eat half their body weight per day. But that is more often, the exception rather than the rule.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I ordered a pound of worms, so about 1000 ? The bin is a 10 gallon I believe (about 2'x2'x1.5').

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:57PM
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You are overfeeding. Add lots of bedding to the top and do not feed again for a few weeks. Make sure they have eaten all the food previously put in the bin before adding more.

Good luck! Pete

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:38PM
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I've only been doing this for a couple months, but I don't believe that you need to wait for them to eat all their current food before you add more. I add mine whenever I get it after letting it sit for a few days to help make sure its breaking down quickly, and just add it to a different spot on the opposite end. Some things break down more slowly than others and waiting for it to break down before adding more would require me to throw away good scraps and force my worms to work harder to eat.

For instance, I just added a couple pounds of strawberries to my bins over the past week or so and the worms have nearly devoured all of it; meanwhile, I added some old radishes (chopped up) about 2-3 weeks ago and they are hardly eaten at all.

Sure, you don't want to overfeed them because of other bugs and smells, but if your bin doesn't smell and there aren't any bugs, I don't see why you need to wait to add new food until the old food is completely gone.

I have a lid on mine, its indoors, and generally there are about a dozen or so worms on top. If this is similar to what you're experiencing, I wouldn't worry and I'd just explain it as worms exploring or something.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Thanks lawanddisorder!

Unfortunately, I am experiencing bugs too. In the last few days, I noticed many, hundreds even of extremely small bugs crawling around the bin. I suspect they are mites because they are so small, but i'm really not sure. They are so small I can hardly see them with my old eyes. Is this another possible sign of overfeeding?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:48PM
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I don't have really any experience with dealing with bugs. Mine is an indoor system, and luckily I haven't had any problems yet. But, I do believe overfeeding could be one of a multitude of ways to attract bugs.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:14PM
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