“My patio furniture and patio has several of these dried up worms and what looks like excrement everywhere”, states this reader concerning the dark green organism with black spots pictured below. “We have a pretty dense canopy of trees but I have never seen this before. Could you help me identify the worm and tell me if this is indeed worm excrement? Thank you.” Firstly, we think that the worms our reader has been finding are caterpillars: the organism’s bulbous head, prolegs, and coloration all point to this fact. That said, the coloration is a bit off: the blackish part of its body almost looks like it has been burnt, and the greener part at its rear suggests it used to be a much more vibrant green. Maybe this is a result of the caterpillar drying out as our reader suggested.
“I found this worm on my laundered bed sheet as I was making my bed,” says this reader about the multi-colored object pictured below. Our reader asks if we can identify it for him and specifically if it is a midge fly larva.
“Tiny worm-like creatures” were found hanging “by a thread of some sort” in this man’s home in Dubai. The creatures in question appear to be minuscule in size (as seen in the photograph below) and transparent, with a bulbous black head.
A woman in Pennsylvania has been finding “larvae or pupae” in large amounts in her kitchen, bathroom and living room. Our reader reports that to the naked eye, they appear to be “nothing”, but once she zooms in on them, one can make out the details that make her “sick”.
Worm tea sounds like a disgusting beverage, not exactly the sort of drink you want to curl up with on a cold night (or any night for that matter.) Fortunately, it’s not a drink that people enjoy…it’s used primarily as a fertilizer!
A reader wrote to us recently seeking “more information on the economic side of commercial worm farming.” He is wondering about the cost of worm farming, and also how much money one can expect to make from worm farming. For a number of reasons, this is a complex question to answer. The economics of starting any business is complicated, even if you know a lot about the product you are selling (in this instance, worms and worm castings). That said, we do know a bit about worm farming, and so by extension we know a bit about its commercial aspects, so below we offer a brief overview of commercial worm farming as a business, as well as point to some helpful resources.
A number of readers have inquired about the term frass, both generally and as it applies to worms. As such, we find ourselves in wont of a resource to explain this term, for frass is certainly a term that worm enthusiasts have occasion to discuss without infrequency. Moreover, the meaning of “worm frass” remains rather elusive.
We recently received another question from a reader about worms and gardens, which is a perennial topic of concern among our readers. If you are into gardening, you have to pay attention to worms. Our reader found some worms under a dead plant near her house. A couple of the worms were somewhat long, around six inches in length, but one of them was short and plump, at least relative to the long worms. Thinking the worms would be good for the soil, the reader moved them into her garden. Upon doing this, it occurred to the reader that she might have introduced something into her garden that isn’t conducive to its health. After all, she found the worms under a dead plant, and she worried that the worms might have caused this plant’s death. More generally, the reader was wondering, what worms are suitable for one’s garden?
Worms and compost are a match made in heaven. Worms love the stuff of compost bins, happily consuming it and then leaving behind worm castings (a.k.a. vermicast, worm humus, or worm manure), which is excellent fertilizer. So, we are able to convert our organic waste into something of value, and in so doing we make a lot of worms happy. We’ve written a lot about worm composting before (check out this article on the general topic of using worms in your compost, and here is another about a specific way to compost using worm farms), so we are certainly no strangers to this fantastic natural process.
Worm tea sounds like a disgusting beverage, and indeed it would be if it were a beverage. Fortunately, however, worm tea is actually used primarily as a fertilizer, not to satisfy the thirst of people with eccentric tastes. For that, see our article on why people buy worms.
A worm factory is a multilayered compost bin that is designed to efficiently harness the power of worms to make nutrient-rich compost for your garden (or for whatever else you might want to use nutrient-rich compost for). Compost produced by worms is particularly good for gardening, helping your plants flourish.
Also called “vermicompost” or “worm compost,” castings are such powerful fertilizers because worms eat nutrient packed fruit and vegetable scraps. When worms consume vegetable scraps, the scraps become compost as they pass though the worms body. The compost exits the worm’s body through its tail.
Mix the organic materials together and add the worms. It takes roughly 3-5 months for the worms to eat through the materials. At this time, you will notice very little materials and a hefty amount of compost. Once this happens, it’s time to harvest.