Worm Inn Journal – 12-01-08

Worm Inn

As mentioned, I don’t want to let these updates fall by the wayside like my ‘Worm Bin Journal’ updates did, SO I thought I should get everyone up to speed with my Worm Inn testing.

One interesting development on the Worm Inn front actually relates to the last post I wrote. I little while ago I noticed (with dread in my heart) that some fruit flies were coming out of the bedding in my Inn. This something I’ve been really worried about ever since setting the system up. Basically, I figured I’d be totally doomed if even a few fruit flies laid eggs in my bedding, since it would likely (in my mind) escalate to a full-blown infestation. After all, it is essentially a completely open system, unlike a typical plastic worm bin.

Each day I would go down to my worm room expecting to see clouds of fruit flies billowing out of my Worm Inn – but for whatever reason it just never happened. Oh sure, I had lots of fruit flies flying around the room, but as mentioned in my other post, they were coming almost exclusively from one particular bin. I was lucky to see two or three fly out of the Inn.

Again, I think there are two possible mechanisms at work here: predation and/or competition. I really think it has made a big difference that I have a decent density of worms in the system (although not as many as I would like), and that I’ve been feeding them a well-blended (and partially decomposed) food mix. The addition of a fair amount of manure compost (chock-full of critters) has likely played an important role as well.

Needless to say, I am enjoying this system more and more each day! (Let’s just say I’m not a big fruit fly fan! hehe)

On another note…

Last week I had my first ‘show and tell’ session with (potential) customers who were interested in seeing an active Worm Inn and chatting with me before deciding whether or not they wanted to purchase one. I decided to set up some of my ‘regular’ worm tub systems as well, feeling quite certain that they would opt for these instead (they had expressed some skepticism re: the effectiveness of the Inn beforehand).

As it turns out, both they and I were pleasantly surprised with the end result. I think seeing the system up close and realizing how much bigger (than it looks in the picture) it is was a big part of it. I have little doubt that the beauty of the camo design helped to work some magic as well though.

Long story short – they walked away with two Worm Inn kits, and I was left with two starter bins ready to go to some other customers. Pretty cool!

Anyway – I’m really hoping to add some more worms to the system before too long. With the high demand for worms right now (which is rather bizarre given our winter weather, I might add), unfortunately I can’t set any aside at the moment, but hopefully before too long. I’m sure the population is growing naturally on its own, which should make this even more interesting.

Stay tuned!

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Cat Litter Composting – 12-02-08

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Diverse Compost Ecosystem – Protection From Fruit Flies?


  1. This is great to see your system in action! Oddly, I recently had a fruit fly threat as well, but nothing happened. I did stop feeding the system for awhile so that might have contributed. I am enjoying the journals very much – thanks for the detailed updates!

    • Bentley
    • December 2, 2008

    Hi Robyn – glad you mentioned that. I actually slowed down my feeding considerably as well (a fairly important detail to leave out – haha). If the ‘food’ had been chunks of fruit/veggies as it has been in the past, this likely wouldn’t have slowed down the fruit fly invasion (since still plenty of habitat for them) – but the blended material gets quickly consumed by the worms, thus making it unavailable to the fruit fly larvae.
    I’m going to start adding my ‘homemade manure’ mix again this week and see what happens.

    • Rebekah
    • December 9, 2008

    Hey Bentley, you expressed surprise that worms are in high demand despite it being winter — as a recent customer of yours (1 lb of happy worms NOT DEAD YET, hooray!) I think that it’s likely that others, like me, discovered your vermicomposting by googling for “winter composting” or “indoor composting”

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