This question comes from Wendy, who is worried that various worm bin creatures are having a negative impact on her worm population.
I started worm composting following your instructions and adding a
pound of worms. Things were going great for a few months. I even
saw some worm eggs and I was able to harvest some castings. Then the
little flies came, little triangle, slow flying things. I haven’t
seen a picture that look like them so I don’t know what they are. I
also noticed little brown seed like things in the bin and then very
little squirmy things. I don’t think they were baby red wigglers,
they moved weird, not like a worm, kind of like a maggot – but much
much smaller. Then the bin started smelling bad and I noticed that
the worms were not moving much. I think the things ate the worms, I
can’t find any, not even dead ones. Help!!!
Ok, so let me get this straight. You have:
“little triangle, slow flying things”, “little brown seed like things”, and “very little squirmy things”?
Sorry – couldn’t resist! All teasing aside, I do know how tough it can be to figure out what all these various bin creatures are.
I’m not 100% sure what your triangular, slow moving flies might be, but whatever they are there is probably a reasonable chance that the little maggots are the juveniles of these flies. The brown seed-like critters are probably a species of mite.
Is it likely that any of these creatures would eat your worms?
Not really…well, assuming this is an indoor bin, anyway. If it is located outside there is a somewhat higher chance of it being invaded by something that can harm the worms.
It definitely sounds as though some (if not all) of your worms have died. I’m not surprised that you can’t find any though – dead worms generally decompose very quickly.
Unfortunately, without seeing the bin for myself or knowing what you’ve been using for food etc, it is tough to know for sure what might have happened. As for what to do now, I would definitely recommend starting up a second bin and moving over as many live worms as you can find. I would also try mixing a lot of fresh bedding into the old bin then letting it sit for awhile, left alone. You mentioned there being cocoons in the bin, so you may be surprised to find that the bin has bounced back with a new worm population in a couple months.
Anyway, sorry I can’t be of greater assistance! Feel free to provide any additional details or ask any other questions you may have.