Best Worms for Compost Bins with Biodegradable Waste

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Did you know that you can easily create powerful compost from home? You will only need a compost bin, food waste, and a few composting worms. These worms are superstars for turning biodegradable waste into natural fertilizer in an affordable process that ensures your compost bin smells fresh. Want to try the process? Let us tell you about the best worms for compost bins. But first;

Why Use Composting Worms?

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Compost worms are affordable and effective if you want natural fertilizer from your food scraps. Not only will using them make your organic fertilizer, but they will also do so in a sustainable process that is good for the environment. The process of using worms to produce manure is called vermicomposting, and it can take anywhere from a few days to months, depending on how much food scraps you produce.

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Vermicomposting has been used for many decades. It was, in fact, first discovered and encouraged by Charles Darwin, who, in his later years, published his study on the importance of earthworms chewing soil and then pooping it as manure. But, with the world's population growing bigger by the day, there is a need for more food production. And, with this need, more food waste ends up in landfills.

You can make a difference in the environment by not throwing away your food scraps. Instead, you can get a composting bin, throw away all food waste, and then get worms to eat the waste. You will have a powerful organic fertilizer to add to your garden in a few months.

Are you ready to start vermicomposting? If so, and your compost bin, soft gardening gloves, and food scraps are ready, the next step is finding the best worms for composting. When buying these worms, you will need to choose those that eat scraps from the surface, so it is easier to collect the worm castings. These are called epigeic worms, and the red wigglers and redworms are your best options.

Here are some worms you can buy today.

1. Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 100 Count Live Composting Worm Mix

Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 100 Count Live Composting Worm Mix
  • Guaranteed Live - All orders ship to arrive within 2 days of purchase! *
  • Speedy Composters
  • Worm Compost Improves soils physical structure
  • Worm Compost Improves germantion, plant growth, and crop yeild while improving root structure
  • Makes a delicious bite sized hi-protein treat for any aquarium fish or reptile

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When buying worms, our biggest fear is always receiving un-alive worms, as most are advertised as live worms. However, not only did our worms arrive on time and alive, but they were also nicely packaged in a box with enough air holes. In addition, we also got a natural worm mix that we added to our compost bins.

Image Credits: unclejimswormfarm.com

We bought the 100-worms package, and though we did not manually count the worms, we were satisfied with the purchase since all the worms were alive. We found it easy to transfer the worms into our compost bins. However, you would need to be more careful if you want to replace the worm mix, lest the worms fall to the ground, which would make for terrible collecting. The worms are tiny and delicate, so we figured it would be easy to kill them.

All in all, we were satisfied with the purchase. It was affordable, with the worms arriving healthy and ready to start composting. The only dealbreaker we could find is that the package, though nicely aired and sealed, had a stinking smell. Still, after placing the worms into the compost bin, that smell disappears very soon.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Worms arrived on time and alive
  • The package comes with 100 worms
  • The package comes with a worm mix you can use in the bin or garden
  • Excellent packaging

Cons

  • The worm mix comes with a nasty smell

2. NaturesGoodGuys Live Redworms

NaturesGoodGuys Live Redworms Composting Red Worms - 1,200 Red Wigglers
  • 1,200 Live Red Worms / Red Wiggles!
  • These Red Worms turn Organic Waste into Nutrient Rich Soil!
  • Red Worms are Nature's Garbage Disposal
  • We Guarantee Live Delivery!
  • Treats up 1,200 Sq. Ft.

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This package from NaturesGoodGuys is our second recommendation. They guarantee the red wigglers will come alive, and the affordable package comes with 1200 worms. We loved that these worms were enough for our large compost bins, and the company says the worms can treat up to 1200sq.ft.

Image Credits: naturesgoodguys.com

After buying, the worms arrived in good time, although some came dried up. Still, most were alive, and we immediately transferred them into compost bins to prevent further death. Within a few days, they looked healthy and were already producing worm castings.

The only dealbreaker we can report is the trouble we endured with USPS shipping, and we have to say that it is not the company's fault. The shipping process was a bit difficult, and our biggest worry was the worms arriving to us un-alive. Luckily, Nature's Good Guys were very helpful and expedited the process smoothly.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • The package comes with 1200 worms
  • Most worms arrived healthy
  • The company was helpful with the shipping process

Cons

  • Some worms were dead on arrival

3. HomeGrownWorms - 250 Live Red Wiggler Composting Worms

HomeGrownWorms - 250 Live Red Wiggler Composting Worms - Live Delivery Guaranteed - Vermicomposting...
  • FREE Care & Maintenance Instructional Sheet Included! No more Fear of raising Worms!
  • Live, healthy red wiggler earthworms
  • Grown in Sustainable Conditions
  • Great for composting and producing quality castings for fertilizer

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When buying worms, we have, on more than one occasion, ended up killing worms because we did not know how to use them for composting. And so we recommend this package because it comes with a care and maintenance guide. So, you will find it easy to keep the worms alive and healthy long after buying them.

Image Credits: homegrownworms.com

We bought the package that comes with 250 red wigglers and found them affordable. According to the company, these worms are raised in sustainable and organic conditions, so they guarantee your worms will come healthy. We can agree on this because only a few of our 250 worms arrived dried up.

Finally, we loved how nicely-packaged the worms were. The worms and mix were stored in a nice and well-aired box, and as a bonus, the fast shipping was also free. Unfortunately, like with all good composting worms, we found the mix quite smelly and had to replace it in the compost bin.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Most worms arrived healthy
  • Excellent packaging
  • Our package came with over 200 healthy worms
  • Free and fast shipping

Cons

  • Some worms arrived dead

4. Worm Nerd Red Wiggler

Sale
Worm Nerd Red Wiggler Live Worms, Composting Worms for Vermiculture/Composting - 250 Pack
  • Launch your compost project with live Red Wiggler worms
  • Reduce landfill waste using these worms to compost average scrap fruits and veggies
  • Improve the health of plants and boost gardens with free waste products provided by worms
  • Treat beloved reptilian pets with safe protein raised in controlled environment bins at home
  • Raise your own bait and enjoy consistent supply since live worms are ideal for fishing

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We bought this Worm Nerd package with 250 red wigglers, and we loved how fast the package arrived. We went for the 250-worm package, but if your compost can handle more worms, you can buy packages with as many as 1000. Unfortunately, these will be pretty expensive compared to our Nature's Good Guy recommendation above.

Image Credits: wormnerd.com

We recommend this package for your worm bin because of how excellent the shipping was, not to mention how healthy the red worms arrived. In our case, the worms were shipped via USPS, and they all made it alive despite being shipped in a very hot climate. Furthermore, as the company promised, the shipping was done within three days.

After receiving the worms, we easily transferred them into our compost bins, and they immediately started eating into the waste and producing the healthiest worm poop to fertilize our soil.

Pros

  • All worms arrived healthy
  • Fast shipping within three days
  • You can choose between different packages

Cons

  • Expensive

5. BROTHERS WORM FARM - 100 Live Red Wiggler Compost Worm Mix

BROTHERS WORM FARM - 100 Live Red Wiggler Compost Worm Mix. Starter Food Packet Included....
  • PERFECT FOR WORM BINS & GARDENS: Use in your indoor worm bin, outdoor worm composter, or garden
  • STARTER WORM FOOD INCLUDED: Ships with a packet of chow for your 1st few compost worm feedings
  • SOLD BY A REAL WORM FARM: We're experienced pros w/ fanatical support for your worm farming journey
  • MANURE-FREE & PEAT-FREE: We do not use manure or peat moss in our worm breeding process
  • SHIPPING & QUANTITY GUARANTEE: We’ll deliver live compost worms in the quantity you ordered

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As mentioned above, our biggest fear when buying worms is getting them healthy, only for most, if not all, to die within days of composting. We realized our mistake was in what we fed the worms on the first days. So, we jumped at this offer that promised worm food. 

Image Credits: brotherswormfarm.com

Our pack of 100 worms came with a packet of healthy worm food that made it easy to keep them alive after transferring them to the compost bin. As an added advantage, the food did not contain any manure or peat moss, so we knew the best food for the worms in the future.

The packaging was excellent, and the shipping was fast. However, we found the package quite expensive compared to alternatives.

Pros

  • Excellent packaging
  • Fast shipping
  • All worms arrived healthy
  • The package comes with a packet of warm food

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Worms for Compost Bins

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Worms for Compost Bins

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Several types of worms are suitable for composting, including red wigglers, nightcrawlers, and African Nightcrawlers. When selecting the best worm for composting, these are the key factors to consider:

a) Temperature Range

Worms have ideal temperature ranges in which they can survive and thrive. For instance, red wigglers prefer temperatures between 55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, while others, like the African night crawler, can tolerate a wider range of temperatures. So be sure to select a type of worm that will be comfortable in your climate.

b) Food Source

Different types of worms have different food preferences. For example, red wigglers prefer organic materials such as kitchen scraps, while nightcrawlers and African Nightcrawlers will consume both plant matter and animal manures. Therefore, the type of worm you select should depend on what food source you can provide.

c) Space

The amount of space available for your composting worms is also important. Nightcrawlers, for instance, need more space than red wigglers, as they’re larger and require deeper bedding systems. Make sure you select the type of worm that is appropriate for the size of your worm bins or container.

d) Lifespan

Like all living creatures, worms have limited lifespans. Red wigglers generally live up to a year, while nightcrawlers and African Nightcrawlers can live up to three years or more. When selecting the best worms for composting, consider the time required to establish a strong, healthy population of worms.

e) Compost pH

The acidity or alkalinity of the compost produced by different worm species is also a factor. For example, red and blue worms produce compost with a neutral pH, while nightcrawlers and African Nightcrawlers produce more acidic compost. Therefore, the desired pH of your compost should be kept in mind when choosing a type of worm.

f) Packaging

The packaging of the worms is also an important factor to consider. Make sure that any worms you purchase are packaged properly and shipped on time so as not to cause distress or harm to your worms. In most cases, the worms should come in a breathable box with worm food to keep them healthy. It’s important to check for signs of disease before introducing the worms into your composting system.

g) Quantity

Worms are purchased in varying quantities, so choosing a quantity appropriate for your composting system’s size is important. If you purchase too many worms, they can become overcrowded and stressed, reducing their effectiveness in producing quality compost, while few worms will not produce enough worm castings.

An excellent way to determine the number of worms you need is to consult an experienced composting enthusiast or a worm farm.

h) Cost

The cost to purchase and maintain worms is another factor that you should consider. Generally speaking, red wigglers are the most affordable option due to their shorter lifespan, while nightcrawlers and African Nightcrawlers are more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Composting Worms

Best Composting Worms

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a) What is the best type of worm for composting?

The best type of worm for composting will depend on your climate, food source availability, and other factors. Generally speaking, red wigglers are popular due to their temperature tolerance and ability to consume organic material.

b) When should I add worms to my compost bin?

Worms should be added to your compost bin when it is at least two-thirds full. This will ensure the worms have enough organic material to feed on and won’t be stressed or overcrowded.

c) How do I keep my worms healthy?

To keep your worms healthy, ensure they are in an environment with the proper temperature, moisture level, and food source. Additionally, be sure to provide them with plenty of oxygen by regularly aerating the compost.

d) Why are worms important for composting?

Worms are essential for composting because they help to break down organic materials and turn them into nutrient-rich soil. Their digestive systems also release beneficial bacteria and fungi into the compost, which further aids decomposition.

e) How long do worms live in a compost bin?

The lifespan of worms in a compost bin will depend on the type of worm and environmental conditions. For instance, red wigglers can live up to one year, while nightcrawlers and African Nightcrawlers can live up to three years or more.

f) Are earthworms and composting worms the same?

No, earthworms and composting worms are not the same. Earthworms live in the soil while composting worms thrive in warmer, moist environments such as a compost bin. In addition, Composting worms are typically smaller and have adapted to break down organic matter more efficiently. On the other hand, Earthworms are larger and better suited for aerating the soil from a few inches deep.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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