Yes, worms do consume dog, cat, and kitty litter poo (as long as it is a paper or timber based product). Modern animal worm treatments do not affect compost worms, according to recent research conducted by us and a veterinary clinic in the USA. So it's okay to use newly dewormed animal waste as worm feeding in your worm farm.
Dog faeces require to be mixed with high carbon material. This material can be cardboard that has been shredded, dry leaves, old compost, peat moss, or coco coir. Ironically, despite the fact that dog poop is strong in nitrogen and is referred to as a "green" diet, these high carbon compounds are referred to as "browns."
Our own Little Rotter is the ideal worm farm to feed dog and cat waste to. They are simple, safe and easy to use. Check them out here.
To get started, we advise you to get 1000 compost worms for every person living in your home. Therefore, ordering 4000 compost worms for your worm farm would be ideal if there are 4 people living in your home.
If you buy 1000 adult worms from our Bag O Worms and fill in the gaps with our Compost Worm Bombs, which are significantly more affordable and have smaller worms and eggs. However it is important to note that with fewer worms, your worm farm will still function, but will convert waste much more slowly.
Most items that were once alive but are now dead and rotting will be consumed by compost worms. In fact, they favour eating the microscopic organisms that are rotting the organic matter. Worms rely on other creatures to break down their food because they lack teeth. Worms can thrive on leftover food from the kitchen.
Paper, cardboard, grass clippings, animal manure, leaves, and other domestic garbage are also beneficial to worms. Don't give your worms meat if you don't like maggots. Keep in mind that worms have no teeth, so first chop, shred, or mush the worm meal. Also keep in mind that worms, like all animals, benefit from a diversified diet. So change things up and try to alter your food as much as you can - keeping moderation in mind.
Compost worms are rumoured to consume up to half their body weight each day. This number, in our experience, varies greatly. From as little as 1/100th of their body weight per day (bran) to as much as 10 times their body weight per day (mill mud/filter press). Everything depends on the kind of food, its particle size, its nutrient content, etc. You may anticipate 1000 worms to consume 1/2 a cup (125 ml) of kitchen scraps per day if you cut or mush them up.
No, compost worms have a built-in system that prevents them from reproducing once their food/volume density reaches a certain level. This implies that depending on the amount of food you feed them and the environment in which they are kept, the worms will self-regulate their population.
Both native and compost worms can be added to your garden beds.
In the soil, various worm species will serve various purposes. For instance, native worms will structure your soil to offer it exceptional water and nutrient retaining capabilities, whereas compost worms will provide fertility and disease resistance to your soil.
You must maintain a consistent mulch layer on top of the soil and maintain an acceptable level of soil moisture before adding worms. Regularly adding ruminant animal manure will aid in providing food for the worms. Another option is to use our Little Rotter Worm Farm, which offers the ideal environment for the worms with food and moisture.
Establishing a worm farm right in your garden beds is your best option. Common composting worms of all types will work the soil and aid in breaking up the clay. It is a common misconception that worms don’t live in soil - but where else could they live?
The worms in compost require a consistent supply of food, moisture, and shelter. I made sure to incorporate this feature into the design of our Little Rotter worm farms so that worms only visit the Little Rotters for food. They complete all the job for you before leaving once again through the bottom holes and leaving their casts scattered around the garden soil. Simply add mulch to your garden for protection, and make sure to water it frequently for moisture.
Clay will be broken up by the worm cast that the worms disperse throughout your soil as they add humus (another word for worm cast). Compared to gypsum, humus is a considerably better tool for breaking up clay.
No, we don't currently offer worm blankets. Worm blankets, in our opinion, are not essential for a worm farm. So that worms can eat continuously throughout the day, the blankets can assist retaining moisture and keep the food dark. Newspaper, cardboard, or carpet that has been dampened will all work as a substitute. Most Bunnings stores have the Tumbleweed Worm blankets if you desire to purchase one.
When it comes to rodents, the Little Rotter's base is crucial. Without a base, the in-ground worm farm is highly vulnerable to rodents (such as rats and mice) digging their way in from below and consuming both the food leftovers and the worms. When we were testing the Little Rotter prototypes, this was a serious issue.
The ultimate design we came up with was a base-less container with nine tiny holes drilled into it, which gives worms free access but prevents rodents from entering.
Digging the Little Rotter (or any other kind of worm farm, for that matter) into the ground is not a smart idea. Any organic debris or food will naturally be levelled to the surrounding soil level by the worms. So, if you dig a Little Rotter, the worms will FILL it up to the level of the dirt around it. The worms will continually EMPTY the Little Rotter for you if you set it on top of the ground.
You can surround the Little Rotter in your garden with light, fluffy mulch to disguise it. Like the cane fibre mulch that is sold at Bunnings or any other high-quality mulch. We encourage you to shield the worms from the elements through the usage of mulch around the garden.
We have found that compost worms in the garden help to draw in soil worms. In general, soil worms are worms that live deeper in the soil and produce "structured" soil. Structured soil has many tiny worm holes that assist in letting air down into the soil to help the soil breathe and hence be healthier. It also holds nutrients and water exceptionally well and prevents trees from tumbling over.
Through their worm cast, compost worms enrich the soil with nutrients. They are often surface-dwelling worms that produce nutrient-rich, fine-grained worm casting that lacks "structure."
Ants despise water. The ants will flee if you lightly wet your Worm Farm with a hose or watering can. This will certainly need to be done more than once; the ants should be kept at bay by keeping the bedding damp but not drenched.
Place the legs of your worm farm in water-filled tubs if it has legs to stop ants from returning.
You can just pour a bucket of water directly onto the Little Rotter to discourage ants. Once again, you'll probably need to do this often before the ants get the message and go.
The worms may begin to climb the edges of a worm farm in search of higher territory after rain events or when there is a significant change in air pressure. They will seek out higher land to get away from the impending downpour since they can feel the shift in air pressure. Different worm species are more sensitive to changes in air pressure than others. Because they can sense changes in air pressure, they will even scale the walls of an indoor worm farm. After the rain event is complete, leave them alone and they will find a place to settle on their own.
After a rain event, if the worms haven't returned to normal for a week or longer, additional causes may be at work, such as poor ventilation or overheating within your worm farm.
Both the bokashi compost and the bokashi starter culture should NOT be used in worm farms. Because of its high acidity, it will kill more worms. Worm composting and bokashi are two completely distinct processes that CANNOT be combined. Worm composting is an aerobic process, whereas bokashi is anaerobic or done without air.
Please dispose of the Bokashi compost by burying it in the ground in accordance with the directions that came with your Bokashi kit. It will eventually decompose into soil thanks to soil microorganisms. For me, there is no benefit to utilising a Bokashi kit. Why process your kitchen trash with Bokashi before burying it when you can bury it straight away and save yourself the trouble and expense of first fermenting it with Bokashi?
Worms do all of the functions of bokashi, only more quickly, easily, and effectively. Worm casts are also a very beneficial by-product.
The larvae of the Black Soldier Fly are most likely the maggots (BSFL). Although they won't hurt the worms, a big number of BSFL will heat a bin to 50 degrees C, killing the worms, and they also have a tendency to compete with the worms for food, therefore they must be removed.
Try baiting the BSFL with bread soaked in milk or other high-protein foods like meat or fish after removing as many as you can by hand. Remove the bedding all around your baits every day when the BSFL are swarming around the bait, until most of them are gone.
Getting rid of the odour of decaying and fermenting food is the key to keeping BSFL out of a worm farm. As long as the flies can smell the worm food within the worm farm, they will continue to deposit their eggs through the little holes in the lid or under the rim of the lid.
When you resume feeding your worms, choose one of the following:
1. Bury the worm meal in several locations near your worm farm, covering it with a thick layer of worm cast. This will eliminate any stench from your worm farm because worm cast works great as a deodorant.
2. Place the worm food inside your worm farm after carefully wrapping it in a brown paper bag or a bundle made of newspaper. The worms will munch their way into the package to access the food when the bottom portion of the bag becomes moist. This prevents the worm food from stinking, which would draw Black Soldier Flies.
3. Lay a thick layer of peat moss, coco coir, dry leaves, shredded cardboard, or another "brown" high carbon bedding material over your worm meal after each feeding of vegetable materials. Enough browns to mask the odour of the decaying vegetables. Out of the three feeding suggestions made here, this one is the most advantageous because it balances the carbon to nitrogen ratio and absorbs extra liquid, making your worm castings lighter and fluffier.
Yes, in a worm farm, mite counts can skyrocket extremely quickly.
Although there are numerous potential causes, the mite population increase typically indicates that your worm farm's environmental factors—including weather, moisture, food, pH, etc.—have become ideal for them. The mite population will alter as your worm farm's conditions do. This implies that the mite population will naturally decline as the weather changes.
It can be challenging to quickly reduce the mite population because we are unsure of the ideal conditions for them. Try adding more water to your worm farm to make it moist if it tends to be on the dry side. If your worm farm is on the damp side, on the other hand, try adding more dry, shredded cardboard or other dry organic matter, such as leaves or other debris, to help absorb moisture in your worm bedding.
Some claim that mites prefer an acidic environment, although this statement is simply general and may not apply to all worm farms. However, it might be beneficial to regularly dust your worm farm's surface with agricultural lime - calcium carbonate (daily at first, then weekly). This will gradually lessen the acidity and COULD lessen the mite population.
For the control of a wide variety of exoskeleton (hard body) insects, we employ Diatomaceous Earth, or DE. Although DE can be challenging to locate, it performs well when sprinkled on a worm bed's dry surface. DE needs to be dry to function properly. Although DE is non-toxic, caution should be used to avoid inhaling the dust because of its potential for abrasion.
If you don't mind using pesticides, you can also effectively combat mites by heavily misting a fly spray over the top of the worm bed. Although fly spray doesn't hurt worms, avoid spraying them directly because it will irritate them.
They are frequently referred to as vinegar flies if they are little flies flying around inside your worm bed. The stench of decomposing plant debris attracts them.
Getting rid of the stench of the rotting vegetables is the greatest technique to get rid of them. There are several ways to accomplish this.
The worm food can be placed in your worm farm after being wrapped in a newspaper or brown paper bag. The worms will enter the bag via the bottom of the moist paper, chew their way through it, and then eat the contents without emitting any odours.
Alternatively, you might hide your worm food in various spots close to your worm farm. Once more, this will get rid of the smell of rotting vegetables.
Additionally, it's a good idea to use a worm blanket or just to layer shredded cardboard or paper thickly on top of the worm bedding before adding worm food underneath. Additionally, it balances the carbon to nitrogen ratio.
Having a separate container just for your bait worms is your best bet for growing large worms for bait. A polystyrene box serves as a good container.
To develop into giant worms, bait worms need to meet two fundamental requirements. Many square feet, especially on the surface, and NO young worms.
Make sure your standard worm bedding is completely free of worm eggs and small worms before adding it to your bait worm box halfway. From your worm farm, select a hundred or more of the bigger worms, and then add them to your bait box. Feed your bait worms your preferred worm food; wet chicken pellets work well. Once the bait worms are big enough, take them all out and throw away the bedding and start the process again.
We conducted our own research on the effects of common worm treatments like ivermectin and praziquantel on earthworms in manure, and the results were positive. These anti-worm drugs target parasitic worms, which are entirely unrelated to earthworms in terms of animal family.
Our findings are consistent with those of a US-based veterinarian named Erin May, who fed the drugs directly to her compost worms without any negative consequences.
The aforementioned remark on worming treatment will have one significant caveat added. Only contemporary anti-worm drugs, those that are now allowed for sale, were tested. However, we are aware that some horse owners continue to use older, outlawed worming drugs, such as DDT, Dieldrin, and a host of other things that were outlawed in the 1990s. Earthworms and almost anything else that comes into contact with these antiquated chemicals will die.
Just test a tiny amount (a handful or two) on discrete areas of your beds if you are unsure which medications have been used in your manure. It is okay to use if the worms get into it within a couple of days and there are no evidence of dead worms. To enable the worms to dive right in, wet the dung down first.
In a multi-stacking worm farm like the Worm Café, CanOWorms, or Maze Worm Farm, all the worms are placed in the bottom "WORKING" tray. Above the drainage tray at the bottom is the working tray. Then you feed the worms in this working tray until the corresponding line is covered in worm cast.
The second working tray is then added on top of the first working tray, and feeding for the second working tray begins. In order for the worms to readily climb up into the second working tray through the perforations, the worm cast in the first working tray must be touching the bottom of the second working tray.
Repeat for the third functioning tray after that. It typically takes months and months to fill all of your working trays. You have a number of functioning trays that are currently unused and ought to be kept out of the way of your worm farm until needed.
Keep a permanent, dense canopy over your worm farm. In the summer, even a modest bit of sunshine may make your worm farm's interior into an oven.
Another option is to cover your current worm farm with a sizable cotton or hessian sheet that has been dipped in water at the bottom. The heat will force the water to evaporate as it is "wicked" up the sheet, leaving considerably cooler air beneath it. The "Coolgardie Safe" effect or evaporative cooling is what is causing this. Under this covering, air temperatures can drop by up to 10 degrees.
Alternatively, you may put a frozen water bottle that has been sealed on top of the worm bedding. When the water melts, replace it.
In warmer temperatures, DO NOT add water to the worm bedding. Compared to dry bedding, water is a far greater heat conductor and quickly warms to room temperature. In hot weather, keep your worm bedding on the dry side.
Or you could try our worm farms, Little Rotter. They were deliberately created to be nearly weatherproof. The worms, which live in the dirt beneath them, move in and out of them as they want as they sit on the ground. The dirt, which is where worms naturally live, offers them the protection they need from the change in air temperature.
I assume you mean the leachate that drains from the bottom of a worm farm like Can O Worms or Worm Café when you say "worm wee," "worm juice," "worm tea," or "liquid."
Because the quality of leachate depends on the longevity of the worm farm and the calibre of the worm food, leachate is a very changeable product. Leachate should be eliminated in the first stages of setting up a worm farm because it is essentially decaying vegetable liquid and could be detrimental to plants. Additionally, decaying vegetable liquid that is kept in the collection tray for an extended period of time may turn anaerobic, or devoid of oxygen, which may encourage the growth of pathogens or bag bugs. More than 90% of all pathogens live anaerobic conditions.
The water in wet vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, etc. produces the majority of the leachate in a worm farm. To get more leachate, some individuals add water to worm farms. Worms don't "pee," thus they don't create their own liquid. Leachate is diluted worm cast liquid as the worm farm ages (3-6 months) and the worms produce more worm cast. The liquid from worm casts that has been diluted can be very helpful to plants.
You can easily determine the quality of your leachate by giving it a sniff. It is terrible for plants when there is a bad stench. The leachate is presumably safe for plants to use because it has a wonderful earthy aroma.
If leachate is to be bottled, the bottle should never have a lid on it. To preserve the beneficial microorganisms, it must remain aerated. The helpful microorganisms perish if the leachate is contained in a bottle because the air is swiftly devoured by the biology, within 24 to 48 hours. What is left are anaerobes, or microorganisms that cannot breathe, and these anaerobes typically are pathogenic or "bad" bugs. Additionally, they emit sulphur compounds that give the leachate an unpleasant odour.
If your leachate has been sealed in a bottle and still does not smell bad after more than 48 hours, it usually means that it has rather low levels of beneficial microorganisms to start off with and is therefore a very weak product. It can still be ok for plants, but would have to be used in much higher concentrations.
Before putting on plants, a high-quality worm cast leachate can be diluted 10:1 with water. It might not be necessary to dilute a mild worm leachate at all.
Grab a handful of fully converted worm cast and dissolve it in a bucket or watering can full of water. This is my preferred way for creating ready to use liquid worm cast.
You will be able to tell whether worms have perished during transport since they will emit a terrible odour. They most certainly have not passed away if there was no stench.
We are positive that we put the right number of worms in each bag. To make sure that we never undersupply the number of worms, we have stringent quality procedures and tests.
I will thus presume that the worms are still present in your pack, perhaps they are just hard to spot. 90% of the worms will be much smaller than the huge worms that are visible. The worms range in size from roughly 10mm to 100mm, which is a significant range. For transportation, we also pack the worms on the drier side, but this can cause the bedding to adhere to the worms and make them difficult to view.
I'd advise you to continue setting up your worm farm, add these worms, and then keep an eye on it over the following few weeks to observe how they're handling the food. The food will begin to be consumed by the worms from underneath, so you may need to pick the food up gently every few days to monitor how many there are.
Leachate should never drip into the bottom tray of a worm farm because of excessive moisture. These kinds of worm farms have a MAJOR design flaw and widespread misconception. In addition to producing muddy and difficult-to-handle worm casting, excessive moisture can also result in anaerobic conditions, which promotes the growth of unwanted diseases.
Add equal amounts of dry "browns" and wet "greens" to maintain the proper moisture level in your worm farm. Dry browns can be anything from peat moss to shredded cardboard to dried leaves to coconut coir (the same material used in bedding blocks). This will keep your worm bedding loose and friable and absorb any extra moisture.
The squeeze test is an easy way to determine whether a worm bed has the right quantity of moisture. If you squeeze a handful of worm bedding very hard, you should receive one or two drips of water. If there are many drops of water, it is too wet; if there are none, it is too dry. With the squeeze test, be quite forgiving; moisture levels do change considerably over time. If it's too wet, add more "browns," if it's too dry, don't add any "browns." Adjust moisture levels with your "browns," not with water.
Worms should not be added to potted plants, in my opinion.
Worms need to be fed frequently, but doing so in a potted plant is challenging. The worms will probably eventually consume all of your potting medium before dying or leaving. When watered, the potting medium will then lose its loose porosity structure and become overly compact.
The better choice for you would be to purchase or build a standalone worm farm and add worms to it. When you receive castings from your worm farm, you can either add them directly to your houseplants or liquefy them to make a worm cast tea before watering them.
The worms should first be fed with a favourite food at one end of the bathtub only. This is the simplest and fastest technique to harvest worm cast from a bathtub worm farm. Feed ONLY on this one end for a few days.
Dig out the worm cast from roughly half of the bathtub at the opposite end from where the food and worms are once the majority of the worms have moved across to the food end. Put new bedding in the area you dug out, and only now feed the ends of this new bedding. Dig out the older other end once the majority of the worms have crossed to the new bedding and food end.
It would be pointless and time-consuming to try to remove 100% of the worms, so don't bother about being a stickler. To replace any worms you may have dug up, your remaining worms will quickly reproduce in their new bedding.
You must be thinking of a multi-tray worm farm, such as a Worm Café or Can O Worms.
Rarely in these kinds of worm farms would all the worms move up to a new tray. There will therefore inevitably be some stragglers.
However, you must stop feeding the lower tray a week or two before adding the next tray in order to reduce the amount of worms that are left behind. This gives the worms enough time to consume all the food on the lower tray. Add your subsequent tray after that, and fill it with some of the worms' favourite foods, such as rockmelon, watermelon, avocado, coffee grounds, ruminant animal excrement, etc. More worms will move up into the fresh food tray as a result of this.
Worm Towers are, in my opinion, essentially useless because they are buried beneath the soil's surface. Naturally, worms have a tendency to level the ground's surface. Thus, they will cover any openings (such as Worm Towers) and scatter any mounds above the earth (such as our Little Rotters). The fact that the container MUST sit ON TOP of the earth and NOT below the surface is far more crucial than how big it is.
The Worm Tower would be removed, and I would replace it with an above-ground worm farm similar to our Little Rotters.
In general, no, it is not safe to add worms to compost bins (particularly the tumbler design) since the worms will be killed by the heat created during the 'composting' process.
If the base of your compost bin or pile is bare dirt, you might be able to add worms to the edges, PROVIDED IT'S COOL ENOUGH. Worms will ordinarily seek refuge in the earth if it becomes too hot. A dedicated worm farm or one in the style of our Little Rotter worm farm is ideal because they may not want to venture back up into the compost to feed on top.
shipping and delivery
Below are post-COVID Australia Post delivery timeframes, which apply after your order has been despatched ex-Gin Gin, QLD:
For SE QLD – allow 2-4 days
For far West and North QLD – allow 3-5 days
For Sydney and near NSW – allow 3-5 days
For far NSW – allow 4-6 days
For Melbourne and near VIC – allow 3-6 days
For far VIC – allow 5-10 days
For Adelaide – allow 5-7 days
For rural SA – allow 5-10 days
For TAS – allow 5-10 days
**More specific timeframes for your postcode destination will be available on your parcel tracking from AusPost, once your order has been despatched from Gin Gin, QLD
ATL is not recommended for live product, especially in summer – You must ensure you have a safe area which is protected from direct sunlight at all times, and is safely accessible for delivery by your postal contractor. If your designated area is not fully shaded, nor safely accessible, please don’t request ATL. All parcels require a signature on delivery, unless otherwise requested by the customer.
If you have a coupon code to redeem, you must apply it to the required coupon code field on the Cart or Checkout page. There are plenty of prompts to help remind you! Sorry, NO free offers or vouchers can be added once your order has already been shipped.
I've just put in my third order from Kookaburra and have no doubt that the service, communication and the worms will be sensational. Apologies for frying my first shipment. The fault was mine :( My second shipment of worms flourished though but then I moved and I'm now living in an apartment. Fingers crossed that third time's a charm!
Very speedy dispatch & delivery. Bag full of very lively worms. 100% would recommend. Kookaburra Worm Farms look after their customers, especially first time buyers.
Very healthy, happy worms. Fast delivery and excellent service. I highly recommend these worms, I had to replace my own because I left my worm farm out in the heat… actually it was two days in the middle of summer.
Nothing is worse than waiting with excitement for your worm delivery, and upon your parcels arrival all your new worms didn’t make it through transit. When you shop with Kookaburra Worm Farms, we guarantee that you will receive a live delivery or we will replace your order for free - ensuring that nothing will compromise your compost or garden!
Want to learn more?
check out our blog for exclusive insights into all things wormy!
It’s time to take the plunge into the world of worms, start your composting journey today!
Have any burning questions about our products? Check out our FAQs and if you don’t see an answer get a wriggle on and contact our friendly team today.