Maggots in my worm bin! Ick!

pondluvrMay 6, 2010

Somebody please help me. I recently set up a new worm bin (two weeks ago) using shredded newspaper as my bedding. I did it according to the directions at this website: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/worms/neighborhood/01-intro.html Anyhow, the worms seem to be doing well, although I am concerned that there are always about 8 or 10 worms near the top of the bin seemingly trying to escape. I have found only 3 dried up worms on my carpet that have actually escaped. I set the bin up about two weeks ago, and it is kept in a cool, finished basement. I believe the moisture level is okay. No puddling, but will hold together if squeezed. Temp is approximately 65 down there, and it has a lid and is in the dark.

I was a bit nervous at first, but I think I added too much food all at once in the first week, and I did not chop it up. Where I found the maggots was on the large, nasty pieces of banana peel. They do NOT appear to be soldier fly maggots. They look to me like regular, white housefly maggots. They're small, very plump, and white. But the food was buried fairly deeply, and I have only see one lonely housefly UPSTAIRS in our home this whole year. We do not have a fly problem. They look too large to be fruit fly larvae, although I did see one fruit fly escape the bin when I opened it yesterday. I read somewhere that if your worm supply came from bedding that had manure, the maggots could have come along with the worms. I know my worms came from a huge worm bin that has a lot of manure in the bedding. I am a real down to earth kind of gal, and not much bothers me as far as creepy crawlies. I even like and will handle snakes and pet rats. But there is just something about maggots in my worm bin that is really grossing me out.

I read that I can soak a piece of bread in milk and lay it on top of the bedding, and the maggots will be attracted to it in a few days and then I can just toss the bread with the maggots. Would this work, and would it harm the worms (no dairy, remember)?

I would greatly appreciate your comments. I don't typically panic over this type of thing. By the way, I did remove most of the uneaten food. Will let them clean up what's left, and from now on, I won't add so much at one time and will also chop it fine before I put it in there.

Thanks a million!

Sandy

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pondluvr

Forgot to mention in my post that there has been absolutely no meat or dairy product in my bin. I only fed potato skins, banana peels, and green tea leaves. There are newspapers, a couple handfuls of soil, and some dried leaves from my yard from last fall. The bedding is rather dense, because that website said to use 4 lbs. of shredded newspaper. That was a lot, and it filled my bin almost 3/4 full. Next time I won't use so much, but I doubt that has anything to do with maggots.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:09AM
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