Worm holes are holes made by a burrowing worm. These holes are typically small in size, about as wide as the size of a worm. Creating holes actually aerates and mixes the soil and it is constructive to mineralization and nutrient uptake by vegetation. This is crucial to the health of the earth and soil for gardening and farming. The importance of worms was noted by Charles Darwin when he wrote: “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.”
There are many different types of burrowing worms. Some are considered deep burrowing worms while others are considered intermediate burrowing worms. While thousands of different burrowing worms exist, one of the most popular types of burrowing worm is the red worm.
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Red worms have so many different names and spellings, that it would be tough to list them all here, but just a few of the other names and spellings for red worms include: Red Wigglers, Red Wiggler, Brandlings, Earthworms, Earth Worms, Redworms, Manure Worms, Red Wiggler Worms, Trout Worms, Compost Worms, and Tiger Worms.
What is a red worm?
Red worms are epigeic earthworms. This means that they belong to the ecological group of worms that are litter feeders, litter dwellers, pigmented, and small in size. Epigeic worms live in the top 12 inches of soil and they do not burrow. Red worms feed on organic decaying matter – they have been breaking down organic waste to make natural fertilizer for millions of years, and they are non-migratory. Although red worms are non-migratory, they are adaptable to many environments.
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Red Worm Uses
Red worms have many “uses.” They are used for composting and for fish bait. Red worms are used to recycle food scraps by vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is a method of composting food scraps by adding red worms to them in a specially prepared bin or box. In just one day, red worms can consume organic material equivalent to their body weight to produce castings equal to 75% of their body weight. Red worms can convert organic materials into high quality humus, which will provide gardens with earthworm castings, which is considered a complete (and powerful) natural fertilizer.
The great thing about red worms when it comes to composting is, you will never run out of them. Red worms are very productive breeders. They lay one egg capsule every seven days or so and each capsule hatches an average of three to four earthworms. Hatched earthworms typically grow into breeders in roughly three months. The way to keep the red worms productive is to keep them healthy and happy. If you have a roomy bin (a 5-gallon bucket or other container), the best type of “bedding” such as peat moss, water for moisture, and organic materials such as fruit and vegetable peels, your red worms will be well-fed, comfortable, and productive.
General maintenance is also important to the health of your red worms for composting. This means that there are several do’s and don’ts for raising red worms. These include:
·Don’t keep your worm bin in direct sunlight.
·Do keep your worms ideal locations such as the basement, a closet or under the kitchen sink.
·Do lightly toss the bedding every week or two, allowing the bedding at the bottom of the bin to be on the top. This process will allow sufficient oxygen to be throughout the bedding. Remember, red worms absorb oxygen through their bodies.
·Do lightly spray red worm bedding that appears to be getting dry.
Red worms as fish bait
Trout, crappie, perch, and bluegill prefer red worms. These are just a few of the types of fish that prefer small baits. Red worms are quite easy to use as bait as they can ‘survive’ a wide range of temperatures ranging from 38 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Once on the hook, the red worm becomes quite active. Red worms can last a long time under water, unlike many other different types of earthworms.
To purchase red worms, visit any pet store or fish & bait store. You can also order live red worms through a number of online retailers. Simply use your favorite search engine to find a suitable red worm seller. Use the search phrase “buy red worms.”