Vermiculture pests

Asked March 4, 2016, 3:54 PM EST

I've had a vermiculture bin going since last fall and just in the last week or so the population of some unidentified white grub looking things has exploded. So far my worms do not seem to mind but should I be worried? Is there anything that should do to protect my worm colony?

Ouray County Colorado

1 Response

I apologize for the long wait to get your question answered. I have a worm farm that is a couple of years old. During that time I have had some mold start, the pH get too acidic, and other things that were unexpected. In every case, I start a second bin with new bedding, and wearing rubber gloves, I transfer as many worms as I can easily locate. I usually have a mass of them sitting in or under the damp newspaper I keep on top of the bedding. Once the new bin is going, I can sort out the problem. I have a plastic basket with a quarter inch open weave and I dump a couple of cups from the contaminated bin into the basket and help the worms drop through into a container below. In this case, the grubs will probably not fit through if they are larger that the worms. Grubs don't reproduce, so they won't have left eggs behind to hatch. You will also be able to sift the bedding and casting through. Then you can save out the finished casting and put the worms back into the new bin along with any bedding that hasn't turned to castings. Or you can keep the two bins going so the new bin is a fresh start. Dispose of the grubs by bagging them for garbage. I have an indoor stacking basket bin, so outdoor insects don't find their way into my worm bin. If yours is accessible to outdoor insects, this will happen from time to time. Also, don't be fastidious about recapturing every worm. I always end up with some of them in my casting bucket. Later I see them in flower pots when I used some of my castings in patio pots. It's kind of friendly to see them there. In the garden, they probably fall prey to earthworms, but that,s okay too.