How Can I Make My Nightcrawlers Breed?

Save

Gardeners and fishermen have long extolled the virtues of the common earthworm. Each day, its tiny body takes in one-half of its own weight in organic waste and processes it into the finest plant soil. Among earthworms, nightcrawlers stand out as efficient soil producers and, due to their large size, make excellent fishing worms. They are hardy worms that can survive a range of conditions and can be prolific breeders. The key to healthy nightcrawler breeding is building and maintaining a proper worm bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Bedding
  • Food
  • Roof or lid (optional)
  • Choose a secure container about 8 to 12 inches deep to use as the worm bin. An ideal container is opaque to provide darkness and help maintain a cool temperature. A plastic container is readily available and simple to clean, but a wood or rubber container is also suitable.

  • Drill holes in the bin's sides around the top edge to allow air flow. Make the holes 1/8 to 1/16 inch wide and about 2 inches apart.

  • Prepare bedding by soaking it in water. Acceptable bedding is shredded newspaper, cardboard, peat moss or non-sandy soil. Check the moisture level by scooping a handful of bedding and squeezing the material. A few drips should come out but not a stream of water. If you use newspaper or cardboard, add a handful of soil to the mixture; the worms need the grit to aid their digestion.

  • Add food to the bin. Worms can eat almost any plant matter, including fruit, vegetables, bread, cardboard and paper. Add the food to the top of the bin, or bury it 2 inches beneath the bedding surface.

  • Place the bin in a location out of direct sunlight. Nightcrawlers can survive temperatures from 45 to 80 F but breed best in temperatures from 60 to 70 F. If you place the bin outdoors, use a roof or lid to shelter it from rain.

  • Add worms to the bin. Because nightcrawlers make such good fishing worms, you can buy them at most bait shops. About 1,000 nightcrawlers can live in a space with 1 square foot of surface area. So gauge the number of worms you use based on the bin's size. Nightcrawlers breed fast; so the bin does not need to be full initially.

  • Maintain the worm bin. The bin requires just a little regular care. Check moisture levels frequently. For greater production, allow the top 2 inches of bedding to become mostly dry before re-wetting. Feed the worms only when all their previous food is mostly eaten. Too much food can create an odor and cause excess acidity, which can kill worms. About every two weeks, turn the bedding completely to allow air to reach all parts of the bin. Because nightcrawlers produce faster when not overcrowded, harvest worms every one to two months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Young nightcrawlers are the hardiest breeders. When harvesting worms, remove the bigger worms and leave the smaller worms to maintain a healthy breeding-age population.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How Fast Do Composting Worms Multiply?

    Eisenia fetida, commonly known as red worms, reproduce and decompose matter quickly, making them effective composters. Although most worms live and die...

  • How to Make a Nightcrawler Worm Farm

    Even space-challenged gardeners can turn household scraps into rich compost with the help of an indoor worm farm. In exchange for nitrogen-based,...

  • How to Raise Canadian Nightcrawlers

    Though potentially more difficult to care for than some worms, many fisherman still enjoy using the Canadian nightcrawler. With sizes that reach...

  • How to Breed Red Worms

    Red wiggler worms, also called red worms, will happily reproduce if you provide optimal living conditions and expansion room. They usually take...

  • How to Breed Earthworms

    As strange as it might seem to the average person, thousands of people across the United States breed earthworms. These earthworms can...

  • How to Grow & Breed Nightcrawlers

    Night crawlers are a type of large, robust earthworm. Easily identified by their dark-red heads and stout, elongated bodies, they are a...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!