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.
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!
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