Worm Bin Organisms

This is a look at some of the common organisms that can occur in worm composting systems (indoors and outdoors). I definitely didn’t include ALL the “common” ones – Black Soldier Fly Larvae, for example, can be very common in outdoor bins in warmer regions. But hopefully most of the main ones people wonder about are there.

You’ll notice (and perhaps be annoyed by) the fact that the video has no audio. I decided not to bother with music since I knew I couldn’t come close to pleasing everyone in that department – and adding narration would have needlessly delayed the release of the video.

Hopefully you will still find it interesting/helpful!

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    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • May 24, 2014

    Great video Bentley. Good to have the close up view of all those little critters.

  1. I know I’m putting together a scary Isopod container called “Under the dome!” Thought for sure you’d be playing “Party like a rock star” on this one. Lol!

    • John Duffy
    • May 25, 2014

    Great video, Bentley. I learned quite a bit. .Judging from the number of Isopods in my bin, I think I’ll go add some more water.

    • Mark from Kansas
    • May 30, 2014

    What about fungus gnats? I thought there was a crusade to eliminate all of those flying insects from hell!

    • Janice Kelley
    • June 3, 2014

    I was quite happy to not have narration or music. I do like the captions though. Interesting video, now I can relax about the other creatures in my worm bin, knowing most of them are doing a similar job as the worms.

    • Teresa
    • June 15, 2014

    I found this to be really informative and interesting. I have no garden and do no composting. I always wondered about the various bugs that do the work helping to promote good soil. I will keep your web site in my gardening file. Thank you for your knowledge and excitement for home grown. T

    • David
    • June 16, 2014

    Thanks for the excellent overview of the kinds of creatures that will likely be present in our healthy bins. If your goal is to break down food and have castings for your garden, all of these creatures are helpful. For completeness sake, it may have been helpful to include the flying insects that may be inhabiting the bins too (fruit flies, gnats, etc.). Others may be difficult to identify because they are not present in adult form.

    • Anthony
    • September 10, 2014

    One critter you haven’t mentioned that has been a huge headache for me is the drain fly. It’s as prolific as fruit fly but makes a mess when you squash it on the wall. Tried drying out the system but it just came back once i added food waste again.

    Any suggestions?

    • Mark from Kansas
    • September 25, 2014

    Anthony, I have had them as well. Turns out, (in my case) it wasn’t the worm bin attracting them. It was the liquid bin drainage that was attracting them. The problem wasn’t there, that was a symptom of a hole in my kitchen sink drainage under the house. Once the pipe was fixed, no more flies. Just a thought.

    • Sheryl
    • March 9, 2015

    Thank you Bentley for keeping us informed. Just a quick question. Do these mites bite humans, and should it be a concern if they get on us?

    • Bentley
    • March 11, 2015

    Hi Sheryl
    Definitely NOT – these mites are adapted for life in the composting ecosystem. If they end up outside of the bin they’ll almost certainly shrivel up and die.

    • Shirley Davis
    • July 13, 2021

    Why are mice getting in my inground vermicomposting area?

    • Bentley
    • September 1, 2021

    Hi Shirley – in ground systems can sometimes seem like an ideal overwintering habitat for small rodents, especially if they are on the dry side with lots of bedding materials. It is also worth noting that what may seem like mice activity could also be shrews. This has more serious implications for your worm population since shrews are voracious predators and will happily feast on worms in available.

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