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You CAN freeze worms

Posted by inthebasement New York (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 9, 09 at 8:39

I have decided to start a new thread for this because it is quite a bit off topic from my other one about getting my worms.

These things are resilliant. I thought I had killed all of my worms becuase my bin had become smelly and I put it outside. Then came the deep freeze It was several days below freezing including several nights in the single digits and teens. When the weather first broke I went out back and opened the bin. it was frozen solid. I found a few worms near the top and they were dead. I assumed that the bin was done and that I would need to begin over again. Well, this past weekend the temperature went into the high 60's. I had not disposed of the bin and out of curiosity, I took a look. Oh joy!!! There are loads of live worms in there. I can only assume now that worms can be frozen and survive. So I am back in business. I am going to let the bin stay outside for the season and hopefully get to the point that I know how to run it without stinking.

I have to say I was amazed to see live worms. After the freeze, this bin was a solid, frozen mass.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: You CAN freeze worms

Hi All and inthebasement; You CANNOT freeze worms they will surly will die. Some species of worms can survive freezing surroundings as long as the worm its self does not freeze. Worms go into a similar to hibornation state called aestivus they curl up into a knot and the body fluids become more sugary helping them to not freeze. Some species die from just being very cold. The true tropical composting worms species are among these types and cast cocoons to hatch in better temp conditions. Worms have to be resiliant because in nature the environment is what it is. Its very harsh on some speies and they have evolved to be able to survive in most of natures changes.

RE: You CAN freeze worms

I'm happy for you, ITB. I suppose there were pockets of slightly warmer stuff in the middle of your box (compost will warm things up after all) or that the cocoons survived and hatched.

Little disconcerting when you think about tropical worms possibly be becoming an invasive species (think Japanese ladybugs). They're becoming so popular and travel such long distances. I was assured that mine could not survive Minnesota winters, but in slightly warmer places this might be a problem. There was another thread on this awhile back.

RE: You CAN freeze worms

This is the first year that my worm bin has been outside for the winter. It too is a solid frozen mass. I added the last of my pumpkin and potato peelings to it and closed things up for the winter after covering the food with cardboard. I'll look again around april.

RE: You CAN freeze worms

Years ago, in another marriage, when I had a house, we built a large wooden bin outside against brick of the house, where the sun would shine on it. I live in Ontario

Inside I put the rubbermaid bin of worms, packed the space between bin and hutch with styrofoam. I filled the bin of worms with leaves and food.

Covered the lid of the bin with straw. On top of the wooden hinged lid, we placed 2 windows to heat the bin somewhat from the sun.

The following spring we uncovered my treasure and my worms had survived the winter quite well.

Now, I live in an apartment, and my worms have the luxury of living in the spare bedroom/office.

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