Moldy, Creepy Pants

Well…I was walking in the basement,
When suddenly I spied them
I saw a pair of moldy pants,
With worms and dirt inside them!*

I guess it was inevitable that this was going to happen. It seems my ‘creepy pants vermicomposter‘ has started growing mold on the outside of one of the legs. For some reason moisture seems to be settling in that area despite my best efforts to keep the pants completely upright. This is another good reason to set up a system like this outside – while I suspect this is simply a harmless rot fungus, there is no need to take chances when it comes to your health. That being said, simply wiping down the outside of the pant leg with a damp cloth will do wonders for getting rid of any fruiting bodies (thus preventing lots of spores from being released into the air).

This also once again highlights the advantage of using pants made from a synthetic material (although, just as mildew can grow on tiles, it would likely grow on synthetic pants as well).

All in all the pants experiment seems to be going well. It’s been difficult to monitor the activity of the worms, but when I dug around a bit from above I found quite a few congregated up where the rotting, wet food waste is sitting. I’m happy to say that there haven’t been any objectionable odours produce yet. I think all that aeration is doing wonders for keeping anaerobic odour producers under control.

Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new and exciting developments!

* adapted from Dr. Seuss story “What Was I Scared Of”

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  1. Oh, my gosh! I’ve been reading the Pale Green Pants story for a gazillion years. It never occurred to me that the pants were full of wiggly vermicompost! Thanks so much.

    • jackie
    • May 13, 2008

    i have started my own creepy pants ,only had the worms 1 week and all seems well i have them hung outside and i am hoping to compost horse manure will update soon but the worms seem happy with horse muck straw and small amount of kitchen waste

    • Bentley
    • May 14, 2008

    That’s great, Jackie!
    Looking forward to future updates.

    • Cindy
    • January 8, 2011


    When I read your first post about your “Creepy Pants” experiment the first thing that concerned me was laundry detergent residue in the pants and whether or not that would be harmful to the worms. As a former hobby fish breeder, I once had a dozen fish tanks and I soon learned that the cotton fish towel rags I used when I clean the tanks and washed in laundry detergent caused algae blooms in the tanks. I stopped using detergent and began washing them with bleach, which I then neutralized in the rinse cycle with pond or aquarium dechlorinator use at 6-8x strength, and then followed with a 2nd plain water rinse cycle.

    Even though I no longer have fish tanks I still keep a big bottle of pond dechlorinator on hand, which is much more concentrated and cheaper than aquarium dechlor. I use it whenever do a load of laundry and use bleach, because plain water rinsing doesn’t remove it all and that’s why things like white t-shirts that are routinely bleached end up getting holes in them. If anyone is interested in trying dechlor in their washloads, please wait until the rinse water has filled the tub and it is agitating and then pour the dechlor, pre-dilluted in a cup or two of into the tub. Undiluted dechlor can cause permanent spots on clothes.

    Vinegar will also neutralize bleach , however it much more expensive to use. I use vinegar to neutralize bleach odor whenever I sanitize my wood cutting boards and hummingbird feeders. When I clean my worm bins I use bleach, followed by dechlorinator rinse, followed by vinegar rinse (for good measure), followed by a final plain water rinse.

    • Cindy
    • January 8, 2011


    In my last post I forgot to mention that I think your mold problems may have been partly caused by laundry soap residue.

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