The worm box has been an economical and convenient Godsend! I used
to buy worms at Walmart but it was getting expensive and a pain to
keep running out to get more. I go through a lot of worms because I
have ten pond turtles, two box turtles and two Central American wood
turtles that like to eat worms. Now I buy red wriggler
worms on Ebay and
put them in the worm box. The informaton on this page will pertain
to red wriggler worms only as they are the only type of worm that I
have raised. I know that nightcrawlers require cold temperatures and
here in south Florida we don't have that! Red wrigglers are easy to
raise and will live in pretty much any environment if you keep their
box in a cool place and keep the worms moist.
The worms do not need to be fed top quality
food. They do well on grass clippings and leaves from plants. You
can also put in hay, which I do, as well as scraps of lettuce,
carrots and other veggies. I usually put the end pieces of lettuce
stalks, celery stalks and carrots in the box. The worms don't eat
the food, they live on the bacteria that is on the food so it doesn't
matter what you give them as long as its not slimy, moldy and
already rotting. Surprisingly the food does not get nasty in the
worm box. In fact, I've had plants even grow in the box if you can
I've made mistakes in the past on how to house
them and what to feed them so here are my tips for raising your own
worms for your reptiles. These tips are how I do it now after
learning for the past two years! Once you know what you are doing
its very easy, not too messy and not too smelly!
DIANES ZOO TIPS FOR RAISING WORMS
You can find red wriggler worms on Ebay. It is
the cheapest way of getting them I have found.
Put them in a plastic bin as shown above. They
are readily available for a few dollars at Walmart, Kmart and
When your worms arrive put them in the box with
all the peat moss or material they were packed in.
Drill small holes in the container top as well as
two rows of holes on the side of the bin. Do not drill holes on
the bottom unless you want a mess! The brown liquid from the bin
drains out and will stain your floor. The worms will also crawl
out because the worms always migrate to the bottom of the bin.
You need to drill holes so there is air flow and to keep the
container from overheating. Make sure to use a drill bit that
will make a hole too small for them to crawl out. Red wrigglers
are not very thick worms so be careful.
Mix strips of newspaper with peat moss with the
worms. Be sure to add a substantial amount of both.
I don't add regular dirt anymore because I found
out that it attracted ants and it also made it difficult to pick
out worms because it was to muddy and thick.
Add grass clippings, leaves, flowers, scrap
lettuce and veggies. Be certain to WASH all outdoor vegetation
before adding to the bin to ensure no ants or other insects get
in the bin. If you don't you will have more ants than worms in
no time! In south Florida this is a big problem because there
are a million ants all over the leaves and flowers of plants.
Add enough water so that everything is moist but
not soaking. The peat moss is great for absorbing and retaining
moisture, much better material than dirt which turns to mud. Mix
Place your bin in the house or garage in a cool
spot that does not get direct sunlight. Be careful about garages
as they are more prone to have ants than the house.
If you live in a place like south Florida where
there are a billion ants for every person, DO NOT PUT THE BOX
OUTSIDE!!! Believe me, I learned my lesson on this one! I had to
dismantle the contents in the bin shown above because the fire
ants got into it and then made a trail going underneath my patio
door frame and into the house. It took a lot of work and time to
finally get rid of them. Even without the fire ants, I had to
battle other ants in the box.
Don't add much fruit, if any. Again, fruit
attracts ants far more than veggies and vegetation and also
produces the dreaded fruit fly! I have opened my bin before to a
swarm of fruit flies. I don't add fruit anymore!
You can add coffee grounds. I've heard and read
this many times. I don't know why its supposed to be good to add
them but apparently it is. You can also put the wet filter in
right with the grounds.
Check your box everyday and make sure it is ANT
FREE, moist enough, has enough vegetable matter, and that the
worms are alive and healthy. You will be surprised as to how
fast the vegetation breaks down!
When you are ready to feed your worms to your
reptiles you can use your bare fingers to dig through and
collect them. This is what I do. Because I use peat moss only
and not dirt it is not too "dirty." Put the worms in a
container deep enough they won't crawl out of too fast while you
are still collecting more worms.
I cut my worms up in pieces with a scissors for
the box and wood turtles so that they have an easier time eating
them and also so that they won't crawl out of the shallow water
dishes I put them in.
If you feed them to pond turtles you should wash
off the worms well and get rid of the peat moss and other
materials before throwing the whole worms into the pond or
tank/aquarium. The last thing you want to do is get your pond or
tank full of dirty material.
Add plant matter as you need it. NEVER ADD ANIMAL
Enjoy your virtually free food source for your
reptiles! You should start getting baby worms but if you ever
run low on worms just get more like I do. Its still the most
economical and easy way to raise food for your worm eating
There are three great movies in the player below of the pond
turtles eating the worms. Enjoy!
on Playlist to view the four movies of the worm
box and the turtles eating the worms.
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GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR!
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