Controlling Mites in a Worm Bin

I recently came across this video over on YouTube and was VERY impressed – the creator, Christy Ruffner (from ‘Worm Bin Composting‘) summarized very effectively a piece of advice I have actually been giving people as of late, relating to the often asked question “How do I get rid of worm bin mites?”. I know I tend to be ‘Mr Mellow’ about this stuff – but I have come to realize that there are indeed situations where some sort of mite intervention needs to take place in order to optimize conditions once again for vermicomposting.

Apart from the awesome info and effective visuals (now THATS what I call a mite infestation – YIKES!), I appreciated the fact that Christy took the time to inform people that the “spider mites” are not the same ones considered to be plant pests (as some people mistakenly assume), and moreover that they won’t really do all that well even if they do start crawling out of your bin!

One other thing to mention – while melons/cantaloupes are almost certainly the most effective materials for attracting mites, really any of the cucumber family (cucumbers, squash, pumpkins etc) should work quite well. Oh – and definitely make sure you don’t leave the chunks in there for too long. If you happen to forget about them, you may end up with the ‘mother of ALL mite infestations’! haha

By the way – I will definitely add a link to this post to the “Worm Bin Mites” section of the “Hot Topics” page for future reference. I have little doubt that this video is going to help a lot of stressed-out vermicomposters!

Thanks to Christy for putting it together (and be sure to drop by her site – linked above – to say hello!)

[tags]worm bin, worm bins, worm composter, vermicomposter, vermicomposting bin, mites, spider mites, acarina, compost, composting, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucurbitaceae[/tags]

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  1. I had same problem one year ago, but what about the tiny white mites?
    This is a powerful post, thanks for share!!

  2. That’s a very nice way of doing it (I instinctively did the same thing during the initial phase of my bin’s infestation), the only problem with watermelon might be that it’s also the favourite food of red wigglers, so sometimes you need to remove several wigglers in order to take the melons inside and rinse.

    • Karen
    • May 1, 2012

    Odd question, but what do you do with the water once you’ve rinsed the mites off? Dump it down your drain?



    • Texgal
    • April 6, 2014

    Personally, I’d add liquid soap to the water and that should kill them.

    • Debbie
    • June 12, 2015

    What about the covered worms? Will they live after the mites are gone? I have a lot of worms covered with the mites. Can they be saved? Also, (FYI) I might mention that unknowing, I spread the mites by moving worms from one bin to another. Should I dump the dirt out and start over?


  3. red mites are attacking my worms . is that just because they are sick?

    • Mirta
    • May 2, 2020

    Thank YOU! Very helpful!

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