Worm Composting Solutions – What To Do When There Is A Jail Break



Red Wigglers PHRed wiggler worms are a pretty resilient bunch. There are very few things that you can mess up when it comes to a worm bin. The biggest factor in anything that you do is going to be the temperature. 72 degrees is the ideal. The red wigglers can tolerate a good about both above and below that but there are limits, so keep and eye on the temp. The next issue you can run into is what you are feeding them. Mainly this has to do with how MUCH are you feeding them. Too little and they could starve, and too much will cause the food to rot and mess with conditions in the bin.

Jail Breaks

It is very common that when you open your wormery you notice a few worms exploring on the higher walls and lid. It’s the jail breaks that you have to worry about. When you see the worms trying to leave in mass to try to get out of your worm bin then you know you have trouble. This is usually either cause by too much moisture or bad PH levels.

As your worm bin works and the works eat and the food breaks down moisture is going to be created. You should have good drainage set up and some kind of collection container (that compost tea that drains out the bottom is really great for your plants!). If you don’t that moisture is going to collect in your bin and will eventually fill it. Worms can’t live underwater so they are going to make a break for it. If you see this happening then just improve your drainage and let the excess compost tea run out. After a day or so of drying your worms will like their bin again and stop trying to escape.

The other reason the worms will jail break is too high or too low a PH level. The ideal PH level is neutral at 7 on a 1-14 scale. They will be fine between 6-8. If you get higher or lower then that they are going to start looking for a better place to live and you’ll see them all making a run for it. The good news is that the solution is pretty easy. If the PH is higher then 8 you can just mix in some peat moss to bring it down. Check the PH level again in a couple days to make sure it’s back to 7 and adjust as necessary. If the PH is lower then 6 you can add some agricultural lime and mix it in. Again give it a couple days and test that the PH is back to 7, and adjust as necessary.

So keep track of temp and PH, and your worms will stop trying to escape from jail and start thinking of your wormery as home!