Setting up a nightcrawler bin

This question comes from Mike:

When setting up a bin for Night Crawlers, do you do the same
as if you were setting it up for Red Worms?

Hi Mike,
The term ‘nightcrawlers’ covers a number of different species of worms, so it is important that we cover the bases here. Probably the most common use of this term is in reference to ‘Canadian Nightcrawlers’ (Lumbricus terrestris) – aka ‘Dew Worms’. These are the big soil worms typically used for fishing – the ones you may find in high numbers on your lawn during and after a warm rain shower (depending on where you live though). Unfortunately, as much as people would love to be able to cultivate these worms in captivity, it just isn’t a realistic option. They are deep soil burrowers, and prefer to lead a fairly solitary existence, so they simply won’t thrive in the crowded, warm conditions of a typical worm composting bin/bed

European Nightcrawlers‘ (Eisenia hortensis) and ‘African Nightcrawlers’ (Eudrilus eugeniae) on the other hand are indeed composting worms, and can be raised in a typical worm bed/bin. Of these two, ‘Euros’ are certainly ones more commonly used by the average vermicomposter (or worm farmer for that matter). They are closely related to Red Worms (Eisenia fetida) and can be raised in a similar manner.

You may want to give then a bin/bed with a bit more depth however – they seem to prefer spending their time down the the high moisture zones in the bottom of a vermicomposting system.

Hope this helps!

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    • Patricia
    • February 5, 2009

    Bentley, I use a 55 gallon drum cut in 2/3rds. so we are talking about almost 2 1/2 ft. Is that deep enough to have nightcrawlers?

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