This isn’t technically a reader question, but I thought it would be very helpful to post it. Kristen has been frustrated with her abundance of mites – specifically the ones crawling out of the bin and piling up on the floor. After not being able to find any solutions online she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Hey there! I LOVE your website and find it very helpful and
informative! Thank you for putting so much effort into keeping it
updated and interesting =)
I have an almost – 3 month old worm bin that I’ve made from a big
rubbermaid container and about 3 weeks ago noticed that sawdust type
stuff all around my bin that has been mentioned here before. I assume
they were dead white mites from what I’ve been reading around. Well, I
hear they are not dangerous to the bin, BUT, although I can handle the
idea of worms living under my sink, having to vacuum piles of dead
bugs daily just rubs me the wrong way. There aren’t many solutions I
could find for this issue and since my worms all seem very happy and
healthy I didn’t want to go picking through the bin and start it over
already, so I figured if they really weren’t a health issue I would
just contain them so I didn’t have to deal with them. . .
I had pet hissing cockroaches for a few years and abosolutely loved
having them around. They are very smart and can climb glass and they
can then even push the top up on the tank to free themselves. I
learned that if you smear vasoline around the top of their tank, about
an inch wide, they can not keep their traction and slide down so there
is no way for them to reach the actual top of the tank to escape. It
would have to be reapplied every once in a while because it’d dry out
and they would keep testing it to see if it was gone. . Soo . . I
applied this method to the worm bin hoping that the worms would not be
affected if they touched the vasoline if they tried to esape. 1st I
wiped the inside of the bin that wasn’t covered up with paper scraps
so I got rid of most of the mites I could see, then I smeared the
vasoline about an inch wide around the whole top of the bin. I also
dug down a little bit and wiped some around the ventilation holes
since that mite-dust was coming out of those also.
I had stopped feeding my worms for about a week to let them really
work on the food that was in there so hopefully that wouldn’t be the
issue that was inviting these pesky mites. So I figured they were
hungry by then so I dumped in some food, covered it all up and fast
forward 3 days later and my mite issues seemed to have just about
dissapeared! There is no more mite dust to clean up, and there is just
a minimum of mites inside the bin! yay!
so, I’m not sure if somthing I did was the solution to my problem, or
if it just was by chance they are gone, but I thought I’d get your
take on the whole vasoline idea and maybe it can be offered to anyone
looking for something to try when they have to be living so close to
their worm bin and don’t want dead bugs to be piling up all around it.
Thanks for sharing that. Very interesting.
In all honesty, I would normally be a little worried about the idea of smearing vaseline on the inside of my worm bins – oily substances like that can coat the worms’ skin essentially suffocating them. It does however sound like an intriguing way to trap (or at lease impede) mites, and once your worms are well settled in (not crawling up the sides as much) this shouldn’t cause too much harm. Perhaps they wouldn’t even go near the stuff anyway.
I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has come up with ways (that actually work) to get rid of mite infestations. I tend to be pretty easy going about various worm bin creatures, but I know there are a lot of people out there who feel otherwise.
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