California Bay Laurel leaves - not worm food?

thornezillaApril 18, 2013

I've recently started a 3'x4' worm bin in the San Francisco East Bay area, and am trying to find out if I can feed them some leaves from the Umbellularia californica (CA Bay Laurel) in our back yard.

I searched the web and only found a few oblique references by laypersons about avoiding Eucalyptus and possibly Bay leaves, but nothing very scientific.

So, can I feed Umbellularia californica leaves to my red wigglers or not? I'm assuming not due to the essential oils in the leaves, but wanted confirmation.


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I have (I think) learned that anything used against insects has the potential to adversely affect worms, but it seems to be linked to quantity. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in many flea repellents for dogs. But so are citrus extracts, and I've seen many posts saying citrus is okay in moderation.

I know I add onion and some pineapple, but the % mixed in with other good foods is small. It doesn't disappear as fast as say, carrots/lettuce/dead leaves on house plants, but it does eventually go the way of anything else I add.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:17PM
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I haven't had the temerity to try the bay laurel leaves in the work bin, but am now wondering about the flowers, which can build up to several inches thick on the ground in late winter. Does anyone think that they can be composted and used on the lawn and garden, and/or added to the worm bin?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:51PM
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priswell(9 CA)

I used some bay leaves in my bin, and it was a disaster! Most of my worms died, and it's taken me a long time to build the herd back up. DO NOT USE BAY LEAVES! LOL!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:27AM
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