These questions come from Alan, who is wondering about maggots and moisture in his worm bin.
Hey, I just had a question about some maggots I just
recently saw in my worm bin. I just started my bin early this month,
so I’m fairly new at this.
So, I’ve recently noticed maggots in my worm bin, and just before, I
noticed several of them squirming around in some uncomposted food. I’m
not really sure where they came from, since they’re actually fairly
large in size…about an inch in length. I read some other maggot
related instances on this site, but these maggots are much larger than
vinegar fly maggots. I’ve only left my bin open and exposed twice
(indoors) to let some of the moisture evaporate from the bin, so my
guess is they got in then. Also, my bin is in my dirt-floored basement
(on a table), so there seems to be a lot of chances for insects to get
in, but all the air holes have screen over them.
Honestly, the maggots are pretty gross looking and give me the creeps
since they’re so big, and I just was wondering what they could be, and
whether I should remove them.
Another quick question…there seems to be quite a bit of
condensation on the sides and lid of my bin. Sometimes a few water
droplets fall of the lid as I take it off. I’m pretty sure this means
my bin is too wet, but how should I get rid of the moisture?
Given the size of your maggots, and the fact that they are interested in your worm bin, I would guess that they might be some sort of Soldier Fly Larvae, which are actually excellent composters (like the worms) as well. In fact, some people raise them on purpose (often using animal manure as food stock) and sell them as live food for reptiles, birds and fish.
It’s a bit puzzling that they’ve been able to invade an indoor bin though – must have found a way to get into you basement somehow.
Anyway – while they won’t likely cause your worms harm, they are directly competing with them for food, and are grossing you out (haha) – so no point keeping them around. Simply remove them (perhaps a pair of dish gloves will help) and toss them outside or give them to someone interested in using them as food for other animals.
As for moisture levels in the bin, I definitely wouldn’t worry about condensation and dripping off the lid (I have a large indoor bin that always drips water from the lid when it is opened) – this is not necessarily an indication of too much moisture. I’d definitely be far more interested in the amount of water pooling in the bottom of the bin, if anything.
Hope this helps!
[tags]soldier flies, bsf larvae, maggots, compost, worm bin, worm composting, vermicomposting[/tags]