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Little White Worm Eggs?

Here is a question from Larry:

I have hundreds of tiny white balls that move around on their own, they
appear on all areas of the bin and tend to move off of the surface to
underneath the bedding.

There is no indication of any kind of bugs or flys or spiders, could
they be freshly laid worm eggs?

They are much smaller then a normal looking worm egg.

Hi Larry,
Those little moving white balls are almost certainly a species of white mites which are extremely common in worm bins.

They tend to thrive in really high moisture conditons, and can often be an indication of overfeeding – or at least adding materials that the worms can’t readily consume right away. They also really seem to love water-rich, cucumber-family fruit (veggies?) like squash, pumpkins, cucumbers etc.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, ever since switching to lid-less systems, I rarely (if ever) see these mites anymore. Their ideal habitat seems your typical enclosed plastic worm bin, and I think virtually every single one of these that I’ve set up has had them.

Sometimes it can look like these white mites are attacking your worms. When there is a population explosion, it’s inevitable that some will end up crawling on worms, but I’ve also noticed them concentrated on dead and dying worms. My guess is that they are scavengers, and are simply feeding on a readily available food source. They won’t do more that perhaps irritate (by walking all over them) a healthy worm.

One other thing to mention. These white mites can also be an indication of a declining pH – especially if you see lots of small white worms (known as ‘pot worms’ or ‘white worms’) appearing at the same time.

I can assure you that worm cocoons don’t move on their own. They also tend to be quite a bit larger than mites, be straw-colored or brownish, and look more like lemons than little balls.
:-)

Hope this helps!

B

Written by Bentley on April 9th, 2009 with 4 comments.
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4 comments

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Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Mark from Kansas
#1. April 10th, 2009, at 2:40 AM.

When I see those little mites I wonder “who invited them?”
What I do is take some rinsed dry eggshells and PULVERIZE them into a cousre powder. The egg shells are calcium. What the egg shell calcium does in it helps raise the Ph. My bin stays at a ph of 7. The calcium seemed to reduce the white spider mites which are basicly harmless.
2-3 egg shells are probaly enough.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Guenevere
#2. April 16th, 2009, at 5:27 PM.

Hello

I am having a problem with these mites and the little white worms, and it seems that all of my red wrigglers are gone. I bought a 1/2 pound more since it seemed they weren’t eating the food fast enough, and a day or two later I started having an issue with worms running away. Every morning when i get up there would be three or four worms half way across the kitchen floor. Now it appears that there are no more red worms and only the mites and while worms. What should I do? Does this mean I have to start all over again? or can I just buy some more worms? Why were they running away?

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Daniel
#3. April 22nd, 2009, at 4:04 AM.

How can you tell the difference between the “white” worms and baby redworms? I either had a booming population this past winter of redworms, or my bin has been overtaken with white worms. If they are white worms, will my redworm population rebound at some point in time?

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Kalin Scott
#4. January 9th, 2013, at 6:43 AM.

Raise the pH in your bin. White worms and mites like acidic soil

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