Red Wigglers (Eisenia Fetida), the king of composting worms, are the most popular and versatile of the composting worms. They need 3 things to thrive on breaking down your organic material: Air, Water and Temperature. Provided a good environment, they can eat 50 to 100% of their weight in food a day and produce three cocoons a week. Each cocoon can produce 1 to 5 baby worms.
Red Wigglers (Eisenia Fetida) are called a lot of names Redworms, Tiger Worms, Manure Worms and Compost Worms. These worms are the most common composting worm on the market. They also are the smallest compost worm on the market, but don’t let that surprise you on how much they can eat per day. Some estimates are from 25 % to 33% of their body weight a day.
The Red Wiggler is definitely the most common composting worm choice due to its tolerance to wide range of temperatures and PH. This worm will tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F and as high as 100°F. The ideal temperature is 68°F to 76°F. The ideal PH level is 7 but it is not as sensitive to PH levels as other composting worms.
The Red Wiggler grows to 1 1/2 to 4 inches making it a superb food choice for fish, chickens, pet turtles and lizards. They are also used as fishing bait. They can survive in water temperatures between 40°F and 100°F. Red Wigglers are very active on the hook, and last longer under water than other fishing baits. Also these worms don’t need to be refrigerated.
The Red Wiggler breeds by lying next to another worm but in opposite direction. They secrete thru the clitella and this secretion is collected in storage sacs. After the worms separate, the clitellum secrete albumin which forms a cocoon. The Red Wiggler is able to lay 3.3 cocoons a week. These cocoons are round in shape and change color during the development cycle, first white, then yellow and lastly brown. The cocoon can produce 3 to 4 baby worms.
These worms are sensitive to vibrations so its best to feed worms once or twice a week. Make sure not to over feed worms, by alternating locations of food within the bins. Make sure to cover food with bedding after feeding. The use of egg shells sprinkled on top of bedding helps control PH level.
You can feed worms non citrus fruits, vegetables, tea bags, coffee grounds, coffee filters and crushed egg shells. Manure from horses, cows and rabbits are good as long as they have been composted a little so they don’t heat up worm bin. Grass clipping and other yard debris are good also. Paper products such as paper towels, newspaper and cardboard are acceptable. Some notable exceptions: Citrus Fruits, meat dairy, human and pet feces, oils and oily food.