Euros Won't Stay Down Without Light
All was going smoothly with my 10-gal and 5-gal bins until a big thunderstorm hit the area and the worms in both my indoor bins headed for the hills. I only lost a handful, but it was still unsettling to me. Since the worms were already stirred up, I decided to go on and divide my 10-gal bin into 2 5-gal bins and harvest some of the castings. I am not strong and I could tell that the 10-gal was going to be difficult for me to handle by harvesting time. I put a lot of the compost from the original bin into the new bins and added plenty of fresh bedding. I try hard not to overfeed, and my old bin was not overly wet. I use newspaper (black ink) and cardboard as bedding and feed vegetable matter in coffee-cup plastic tops in the center of the bin, refilling when I see most of the food gone. It looked like the worms were doing well at composting and I hoped that the new digs would take. I do add a bit of ground eggshells now and then; and ,after the swarm, added a bit of garden lime (calcium carbonate) just in case of acidity. I've been keeping a light on at night since the incident and they have stayed in place for several days. Last night I turned off the light and they were at it again.
I put the 5-gal plastic bins inside 18-gal clear plastic bins and snap the lids on the pastic bins each night, opening them in the morning. I have a black sheet of plastic covering the otherwise open 5-gal bins. A few worms manage to escape the larger bins even though the lids seem to snap tight.
I can leave a light on each night, but wish that I knew I wasn't forcing them back into an unhealthy situation. I can't imagine what else I can do to keep them down. Any ideas?