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Troubleshooting Your Worm Bin

Having trouble with your worm bin? Here are tips for some of the most common questions.

Symptoms Causes Solutions
Worms are dying Food and bedding all eaten Harvest compost, add fresh bedding and food.
  Too dry Add water until slighly damp. Add moist bedding if needed.
  Extreme temperatures Move bin so temperature is between 55 and 77 F. Make sure bedding is adequate.
Bin attracts flies and/or smells bad Food exposed or overfeeding Add a 4- to 6-inch layer of bedding and stop feeding for 2 to 3 weeks.
  Non compostables in bin Remove meat, dairy, etc.
Ants in bin Food exposed Cover food with 5- to 6-inch layer of bedding. Also try a light dusting of boric acid powder around the legs of the bin, spread a light path of Vaseline or Vick's Vapor-Rub around the legs, use ant barriers around the legs, or set the legs in small cans (tuna, cat food) with water in them.
Sowbugs, beetles in bin These are good for your worm compost!
Segmented white things in bin These are soldier fly larvae You may also see them in your backyard compost bin. They hatch into slow flying black flies eventually and are harmless, as the larva help with the decomposition process.