Our live red wigglers and compost worms are grown at our worm farm outside of Austin, TX. We use a variety of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices breeding red wigglers and compost worms, including feeding the red wigglers a steady diet of organic waste diverted from landfills via Austin's Zero Waste Landfill initiative.
New to worm composting? Check out our Worm Composting 101 - the Complete Guide to Starting a Worm Bin article for tips and strategies on starting a worm compost bin.
Why Buy Red Wigglers & Compost Worms?
Compost worms (aka red wigglers, manure worms, garden worms, etc), compared to nightcrawlers and other earthworm species, are considered the best composting worms for several reasons. They:
- Can quickly consume and process large amounts of organic material. By many estimates compost worms consume ~ 1/2 their weight in just a few days. So 1-2 pounds of red wiggler worms can consume several pounds of organic waste per week!
- Are easy to take care of and usually require less than 20 minutes per week of care (for feeding and light watering/misting).
- Survive and thrive in wider temperature, moisture, and soil pH ranges than other worms (e.g., nightcrawlers). Compost worms thrive in bed temperatures between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit and can survive in much colder or warmer temperatures if they live in the ground or soil.
- Can consume many types of organic waste, and they are able to process the waste into rich vermicompost (aka worm castings) that is a proven soil amendment in producing higher yield and drought-resistant plants and vegetables in home gardens and commercial enterprises.
In addition, most compost worm and red wigglers grow to 2-4 inches and are a fantastic protein-rich food for aquarium fish, chickens, pet turtles and lizards!
What's in Your Order of Compost Worms?
Your order will include hand-sorted live red wigglers and compost worms and fresh bedding, carefully packed in a branded, reusable sack. Your order will include:
- Mostly mature adult compost worms with some juveniles and cocoons mixed in.
- Instructions for unpacking and caring for your live worms.
Our compost worm population includes Eisenia Fetida and Perionyx Excavatus. The breeds are very similar and both are great composters and very efficient at breaking down organic waste in vermicomposting bins and generating worm castings. We use them at home and at our farm location to process organic waste and generate premium worm castings.
When Will Your Red Wriggler Order Ship?
We strive to ship same day and most orders ship within 1-2 business days via USPS Priority or UPS 2-3 day (weather or weekend transit risks can move some orders to the following Monday). You will receive an order confirmation after completing your order and a tracking number once the package is shipped.
The shipping cost for live compost worm orders is:
1/2, 1 and 2 lbs: $9.50.
1/4 lb and 100 worm: $6
**We're sorry that worms can not yet be shipped to the states of Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.
What to do When your Red Wrigglers Arrive
- Like other living creatures, red wrigglers worms are perishable and will not survive in certain conditions, so as soon as they arrive they should be brought inside.
- The box with live compost worms should be opened and the burlap sack containing the worms should be opened as well. This helps increase air flow to the live worms and also cool them. NOTE: The worms may seem lethargic at first. This is because they have been confined to a small space and in transit for several days.
- As soon as possible (within a few hours at a minimum) the red wrigglers should be placed in the bin or pile where they will reside. Since the worms are shipped in their original bedding the entire bag of bedding and worms can be placed in the bin or pile.
- If the worms will reside in an indoor or outdoor bin, we recommend lining the bottom of the bin with slightly damp shredded or torn cardboard. This will act as additional bedding for the worms to grow and breed in.
Compost Worms and Red Wiggler Frequently Asked Questions
How many red wiggler worms should I buy?
- For composting in a worm bin we recommend 1 pound of compost worms per square foot of space. If you are starting a stackable worm bin, 1 pound of red wigglers is usually enough for your first tray. If you are new to worm composting, we recommend starting with a smaller order (e.g., 1 pound or less) of live worms until you are comfortable taking care of them.
- If you are an experienced worm farmer or composter, we recommend 2 pounds of compost worms for every pound of food waste you would like to compost per day.
Are compost worm bins smelly?
No - they shouldn't be if a few simple rules are followed (see our blog for more info). Worm bins should mostly smell slightly musky like grass and dirt.
How fast will my red wigglers reproduce?
As long as bin conditions remain favorable compost worms will reproduce very quickly. Mature red wiggler worms can reproduce as many as 1 cocoon per week, which on average will hatch 1-3 baby worms per cocoon. Upon hatching, baby compost worms will usually reach the juvenile stage and sexual maturity within 6-10 weeks.
Live worm reproduction is impacted by bin conditions, density, feed type, and time of year, so be patient and let nature take over! In good conditions your red wigglers population should reproduce and double in size every 3-6 months.
Do you ship red wigglers year-round?
- We ship compost worms year round via USPS and UPS Priority and within 1-2 business days of your order. Delivery times will depend on your location but on average the live worms should arrive within 3 days after Brothers Worm Farm ships them.
- Unfortunately we can not yet ship live worms to Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico.
We're service-obsessed and committed to making your compost worm order - and vermicomposting journey - a great experience. Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we're happy to help!