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worm box problems

Ray Cover

Joined: Apr 11, 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
Hey everyone,

Been a while since I have checked in here. Life has been very busy the past few weeks.

I am having problems with my worm box under my bunny hutch. We set this up about 5 weeks or so ago and put 2000 worms in. Things were going fine for a while. I even noticed tiny baby worms at one point. Then all of a sudden my worms have disappeared and my box is overrun with tiny ants about 3mm or 1/8" long. Did the ants eat my worms or run them off?

Here is how things are set up. The box is approx 3ft by 8ft by 11 inches deep with a plywood bottom. I drilled 3/8" drainage holes in the bottom on a 6" grid per directions I had for building a worm box. I started the box off with a mixture of composted cow manure, topsoil, shredded newspaper and shredded cardboard. We put the worms in and topped it all off with about a half inch of grass clippings to try and help hold moisture in. I tried to keep the bed moist but not sopping wet. The directions I had said about as damp as a wrung out sponge.

For weeks i could go out wnad turn over a patch and find worms just anywhere I looked. Now when I do that all I find are those tiny ants.

I don't mind buying more worms and starting over but I need fond out what went wrong before I do that.

I sure could us some expertise of some of you worm farmers out there.

I didn't really see and appropriate place in the critters section to put this so I put it here in the general permacutlure spot. If it is more appropriate somewhere else please move it.

Philip spillane

Joined: Jul 21, 2012
Posts: 1 here is a link to a great post about vermacomposting.You will learn more than you would like about worm composting LOL Have fun
Liz Pevytoe

Joined: Jul 23, 2012
Posts: 5
A few questions:
1. What is the PH?
2. What are the bin temperatures?
3. How often are you stirring up the bin?
4. Are you feeding anything but the rabbit droppings?

Ants in a worm bin are usually a sign that the bin is too dry. I would suggest soaking it really good for a few days and the ants will leave. At least that is what has worked best for me over the last 8 years.
I have not witnessed ants to be predatory.
If your worms are gone, they likely died or ran away from home if the bin conditions were bad.
Ray Cover

Joined: Apr 11, 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
Thanks Liz,

I did find a worm farming forum. There's a forum for everything now days.

They all pretty much concluded the same thing, that I let me box get too dry. Live and learn. I have been watering it everyday to try and run the ants off. Before I refill it with worms I need to figure out what to do about winter. How do I keep my worms from freezing over the winter? I dont' want to put out another $50 in worms just to have them freeze and die again over the winter.

Liz Pevytoe

Joined: Jul 23, 2012
Posts: 5
It is my opinion that summer is far more dangerous than winter.
As long as your bin has a food supply in winter, the worms will survive.
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