A question from Kristin:
Too many gnats…what’s the nicest way to set my worms free so they’ll
survive in the wild?
Generally speaking, I don’t really recommend releasing composting worms into “the wild”. As I wrote about back in the spring, there has been quite a lot of concern expressed regarding the potential threat of “invasive earthworms” in various parts of North America (see “Do Composting Worms Pose a Threat as Invasive Species?“). While Red Worms (Eisenia fetida/andrei) are not thought to pose any real threat, it’s still probably better to avoid purposely releasing them into a natural habitat.
Using composting worms in your yard/garden is a bit more of a gray area. Some frown on the idea, but I personally still recommend doing so (and do so myself) – so unless you happen to live right on the edge of a sensitive northern forest, perhaps this might be a way for you to still use the worms and not have to worry so much about gnats.
Here is a post I wrote about setting up a backyard composter for vermicomposting:
“Earth Machine Vermicomposting”
You may also want to check out the “Vermicomposting Trenches” section on the “HOT TOPICS” page.
Assuming you are not interested in continuing on with ANY form of vermicomposting (or perhaps you don’t have a backyard etc), I recommend putting an ad up on Craigslist or one (or more) of the other popular online classified ad websites advertising your “free composting worms”. I’m sure that even with gnats, someone in your area would be interested in taking them off your hands. You could also post something here (on the blog) and/or over on the Vermicomposters forum as well to see if you can find someone in your area.
Hope this helps!