Why did my worms die?
It may be because of excess moisture in the wormery. Excess moisture by itself shouldn't hurt earthworms, but the problem may be lack of oxygen related to high moisture levels. It may be because of decaying food. Mouldy bio-waste in itself also shouldn't kill earthworms. But should you find mouldy food leftovers in the wormery, remove them. It may possibly be that the worms are starving. Earthworms may starve and die after only several weeks without a food supply. If you managed to compost your worms, don't panic. Try again with a new hatch of earthworms!
I'm finding worms in the container, outside the composter. What's wrong? The earthworms shouldn't be crawling into the collecting container on their own, just as they shouldn't be outside the wormery. If they do,
it means they don't like something inside the container. It could be excess food, so take some away. It could be the lack of air. Check that the moisture level in your wormery isn't too high and whether your wormery has enough air vents and possibly make some more.
How do I handle fruit flies?
Fruit flies (together with other organisms) are a part of vermicomposting to a lesser or greater extent. We can avoid reproduction of fruit flies in your wormery by covering the surface of the compost with shredded paper, cardboard, newspapers or a paper bag. You can cover the newly added food a little or possibly cover the surface with already processed compost.
You can also create one of the recommended traps. For example, you can put a piece of banana at the bottom of a jar, create a paper cone with a tiny opening and place it point down into the glass, sealing around the edges. Or mix 3 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 4 drops of dishwashing liquid and a pinch of baking yeast and place a container with this mix near your wormery. You can get rid of the flies by precise closing of the container in which you place food. If the flies do hatch, they don't get out and that can be a success. Unfortunately, you may repeatedly introduce the flies into the composter with fruit and vegetable peels containing fruit fly eggs.
What to do if my wormery has an odour? Properly maintained compost doesn't have an unpleasant odour. Should odours appear, it's most often because the earthworms can't manage to process all the biowaste, so lower the amount. The un processed bio-waste also causes high level of moisture of the composted material that then decays and smells. You can dry the contents of compost with pieces of shredded paper, newspapers, cardboard or egg crates. The cause of the odour can also be remnants of stalk vegetables or potatoes. These should be introduced to the composter only after several months when the earthworm are sufficiently active for timely processing.
What to do when there is mould in the compost?
If the contents of the wormery decay or mould appears, it means that the worms can't manage to process the organic waste fast enough. Remove rotten or mouldy pieces from your wormery, reduce the volume of kitchen waste you put into the composter and only once you see that the worms manage to process the food you give them, begin gradually increasing the volume of composted waste. If this is a case of already settled and reproduced earthworms and you have a larger volume of waste (large families, offices, schools), consider purchasing a second wormery.
HOW do I decrease the moisture level in the wormery? Higher moisture is good for the production of worm tea, but an excess of anything is damaging. You can reduce moisture by adding materials that bind moisture, such as paper towels, newspaper, egg crates and similar dry material.
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