Red Worms: Great for Vermiculture!

The red worm, also known as the red wiggler, tiger worm, manure worm or red hybrid worm (scientific name Eisenia foetida), is widely regarded as the best worm for worm farming or vermicomposting. It is easy to identify by its reddish colour and has different feeding habits than the common field worm. The latter feeds on soil and bacteria and so is less suitable for composting household waste.

Red worms can be a great way to recycle your kitchen waste. You can feed them all your fruit and vegetable scraps, stale bread, left over rice and pasta. You can also feed them teabags, coffee grounds and eggshells, though you shouldn’t overdo these. The only foods to avoid are onions and garlic, meat and bones (though they can tolerate a very small amount of these), citrus fruits and dairy. Red worms can eat up to their bodyweight each day, though you should expect them to only eat half that – so each pound of earthworms will eat about half a pound of garbage each day. How many worms you will require depends on how much waste your household produces.

UPDATE! All About Worms has partnered with HealthLabs so that
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required
! Check it out at!

As well as being a great way to reduce household waste, red worms are also a wonderful source of garden fertilizer. The worms eat the waste and produce rich castings (worm manure) which can be used to give your garden a boost.

Red worms can be kept in a commercial worm farm, composting bin or in raised beds outside. They can’t be kept in a regular garden bed because they need an environment which is constantly damp and rich in decaying organic matter. They will quickly die if added to your garden bed. Kept in the right conditions, red worms will reproduce quickly, giving you an ongoing population. You will know this is happening if you see small white cocoons in the worms’ bedding. It will take about six weeks for the young to hatch and grow to adulthood.

Red worms can be brought over the internet, or direct from commercial worm farms. They are a cheap, environmentally responsible and very useful pet.

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did we provide for you today?:

Recommended reading (click on the picture for details):
Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up & Maintain a Worm Composting System

Recommended Composter (click on the picture for details):
Worm Composting: The Worm Factory

Leave a Comment (but to submit a question please use the "Submit a Question" link above; we can't respond to questions posted as a comment)

Menu / Search

All About Worms