WE WILL BE CLOSED ON MAY 19-MAY 24. Orders received before Sat, May 18 at 12:00pm PST will be shipped on Tue, May 21. We will resume shipping the remaining orders on Mon, May 27.

Choosing Your Compost Worms

When choosing compost worms, there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Climate: Different worm types have different temperature and humidity preferences, so choose worms that are suited to the climate in your area.

  2. Size of composting system: Depending on the size of your composting system, you may need anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand worms. Consider the size of your composting system when deciding on the quantity of worms to purchase.

  3. Purpose: Are you getting worms solely for composting? Are you using the worms as fishing bait or pet food? Consider your purpose for composting when selecting your compost worms.

Here at TriCity Worms we offer the two most commonly used compost worms, red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) and European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis). Red wigglers are smaller and reproduce more quickly, while European nightcrawlers are larger and better suited to regions with a mild summer. 

Both red wigglers and European nightcrawlers are great composters and produce high quality compost. We highlight the main differences between the two worms in the chart below:

 Red Wigglers vs. European Nightcrawlers
Mainly used for composting, or bait for small trout. Use Used for composting, fishing, pet reptile or fish feed. 
Fast reproduction rate given the right environment. Reproduction Slightly slower reproduction rate compared to red wigglers.
Average adult length is 1 - 1.5" with thickness of a USB cable. Size

Average adult length is 2 - 3" with thickness of 2/5".

If growing for bait, you can let them get as long as 7" and as thick as a pencil.

The size of your compost system will make a direct impact on the size of your worms. Needless to say, bait worms require a more spacious environment to grow.

Can tolerate mild winter outdoor in a large system that does not freeze over.

Strongly recommend to bring worms to climate controlled environment for temperature below -10°C or above 30°C.

Tolerates wide range of pH and not as sensitive to barometric pressure changes. While they do not get as stressed in an acidic environment, other critters such as pot worms, mites, and springtails may compete with red wigglers for food.

Climate

Can tolerate mild winter outdoor in a large system that does not freeze over.

Strongly recommend to bring worms to climate controlled environment for temperature below -10°C or above 30°C.

Strongly prefers a neutral pH environment and will show signs of stress if composter is getting acidic. Use of pH buffer (e.g. dolomite lime, oyster shell flour, crushed egg shell) is a must.

Sensitive to barometric pressure changes and may be prone to crawling out of composter before and during a rainstorm. Leave lid open and shine a bright light over the composter in this situation.