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Wandering worms

 
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I bought a couple of boxes of red wigglers from the local bait shop and put the original 36 in an old ice chest with compost. I fed them table scraps, 'nanner peels, peaches and lots of damp paper. Life was good. One morning when I took the lid off for my daily "girl check" and found a few out of the bed and climbing the walls. I pulled each and every one very gently from the sides and put them back in the bedding. Every day more and more would be climbing out until one morning there was wads of worms trying to get out. Ungrateful bastards!!
I removed the worms and put them in a plastic bin with a three inch layer of damp potting soil. I layered coffee grounds with fruit and veggies and covered the whole thing with newspaper strips. So, now I've found them climbing the walls again. They don't seem to be trying to get out, rather just looking around. I see babies climbing, too. Itty bitty things. You folks orta see me picking tiny babies off the walls with my big sausage fingers. So, I got another bin and repeated the operation. The new bin was created using the same methodology.
Now, I open the new bid to see no worms. They're down in the bedding doing their thing. Then I open the old bin to find 15 - 30 worms of varying sizes from 1/2" baby to three inch long adults climbing around. The only thing I can think of is the old bin is too populated. I watch the moisture in the bins very carefully. I'm still not using all the table scraps I create, but the little critters are working their butts off. I just need a few more. The other difference is the bins themselves. The bin I inherited is gray and the one I bought is dark blue.
In the pictures I have pulled back my brown layer to reveal the food layer, then replaced it. I think their home is pretty nice...split level, food all over the place, predator free environment...Is this normal behavior for red wigglers? I figured the ones climbing out were malcontents and needed moved for the good of the gray bin. Any advice?
PS the food layer appears very wet, but I had just misted the drying coffee grounds...
20210424_171602.jpg
The bin with the brown layer in place
The bin with the brown layer in place
20210424_171635.jpg
The food layer
The food layer
 
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Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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The bin looks good to me! My worms tend to explore the sides of their bin when the sides get moist enough. I gave up trying to relocate them; I trust they will find their way.

As long as there are still plenty of worms staying in the bedding, I wouldn't worry. Sometimes, if I put too much food in the bin, it will start to hot compost and the worms avoid that area until I stir in some more paper.

My bin is outside, so it's no big deal if they escape. If it's bothering you that they are climbing around, you could try leaving off the lid, or open slightly, so that the sides dry out. That's what I did when I had an indoor bin. The top layer of paper you have should keep the bedding moist enough. You could also leave a light on to encourage them to stay down in the dark.
 
Michael Dotson
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Thanks, Amy! That's exactly what's happening. Moisture clings to the side of the bin and they're off to the races. I guess the new bin bedding hasn't had time to get moist enough to allow condensate to form on the inside of the bin.
 
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I've noticed that they tend to do this in my setup when there is an electrical storm coming, and there is a lot of moisture in the substrate.
 
Michael Dotson
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Nick Kitchener wrote:I've noticed that they tend to do this in my setup when there is an electrical storm coming, and there is a lot of moisture in the substrate.


That sounds like a great horror story!
(In my deepest theater voice) The storm is coming and with it comes terror! Don't go near the bin or you face....(cool sounding bass music)...the WORMS! (end with women's scream and sensational music).🤣
Ah, that gave me quite the chuckle when I first read your post. I got visuals right off the bat and things went down hill from there.
 
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