April 13, 2015

All About Red Wiggler Worms

Wonder Worman is Central Oregon’s Vermiculture Source

Nature’s perfect little composting machine, the Red Wiggler earthworm (composting worm), has been championed by Wonder Worman. With the expert help of Wonder Worman and her trusty sidekicks, any citizen can now do his or her part to reduce landfill waste. Why throw away those kitchen scraps when Wonder Worman and her army of Red Wigglers can convert that trash into treasure? A lot faster than composting alone.

Start a worm bin now in your garage or greenhouse, and harness the super compost-making power of the Red Wigglers all winter long. Come spring, you’ll have a bin full of rich, natural compost for flower or vegetable gardens.

Don’t have a worm bin? Never fear, Wonder Worman can give you easy-to-follow plans to build one from commonly available materials and a few simple tools. For details, contact Wonder Worman’s unassuming alter-ego, Laurie the Red Wiggler Merchant.

Wonders of the Red Wiggler

Worms come in four main tribes with exotic-sounding scientific names:
You’ve got the flatworms, or Platyhelminthes.

You’ve got your ribbon worms, or Nemertea.

Then there’s the roundworms, or Nematoda.

And finally, the segmented worms, or Annelida.

But squirming its way above them all to be first in line for homes in our vermicompost bins is the Annelida known as the Eisenia foetida, commonly known as red wiggler, brandling worm, composting worm, or manure worm (obviously, not picky eaters).

I chose the trusty Red Wigglers to be my Super Composting sidekicks because they:

Are the hardiest worms, able to withstand powerful natural forces, such as seasonal temperature changes

Have an insatiable appetite for food we humans typically call garbage — they’re capable of consuming their own weight each day in raw organic matter

And they posses an amazing reproductive capacity – these worms love to make baby worms, who join in the fight to reduce waste and create good earth. Feed them something sweet like pumpkin or watermelon, and they reproduce faster, because they just need to rub up against each other.

Yep, these low-maintenance Super Composters are the perfect sidekicks.

Amazing & Weird Worm Facts

Super Composting Red Wigglers . . .

. . . consume their own weight each day in raw organic matter

. . . feed on dead plants and animals and are commonly found in leaf litter, manure piles, or local bait shops

. . . 2 to 4 inches in length and red in color (of course!)

. . . lay 2 to 4 light-colored cocoons per week that each hatch 2 to 3 baby worms after about 3 weeks

. . . live for about one year (which is why they have lots of baby wormlettes)

. . . take only 6 weeks to grow from hatchling to reproducing adult

. . . have five hearts (all the better to love you with)

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