**Please note if you select this option your order will not be shipped. If you live in the Austin area we're happy to have you pick-up your worms at our farm in Kyle. **
Our live compost worms are grown at our farm outside of Austin, TX. We use a variety of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices breeding these little guys and gals, including feeding the worms a steady diet of organic waste diverted from landfills via Austin's Zero Waste Landfill initiative.
Why Compost Worms?
Compost worms (aka 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 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 a range of 40-95 degrees.
- 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 worms grow to 2-4 inches and are good fishing worms that stay lively while submerged in water. They are also a fantastic protein-rich food for aquarium fish, chickens, pet turtles and lizards!
What's in Your Order?
Your order will include hand-sorted live compost in their original bedding, carefully packed in a branded, reusable burlap sack. Your order will include:
- Mostly mature adult compost worms but there will be some juveniles and cocoons mixed in.
- Instructions for unpacking and caring for your live worms.
Note: It is difficult to guarantee 100% of any worm species. We breed red worms (aka Eienia Fetida) but it is possible your order will include other great composting worms (e.g., Eisenia Hortensis, Eudrilus Eugeniae, Perionyx Excavatus). All breeds are great composters and very efficient at breaking down organic waste in vermicomposting bins and generating worm castings.
What to do With your Worms
- Like other living creatures live 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 worms 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.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How many worms should I buy?
- For composting in a worm bin we recommend 1 pound of worms per square foot of space. If you are starting a stackable worm bin, 1 pound of worms 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 worms for every pound of food waste you would like to compost per day.
Are 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.
Will my worms reproduce?
Yes! As long as bin conditions remain favorable compost worms will reproduce very quickly. Mature worms can reproduce as many as 1 cocoon per week, which on average will hatch 1-3 baby worms per cocoon. Upon hatching, baby worms will reach the juvenile stage and sexual maturity within 6-8 weeks.
Live worm reproduction is impacted by bin conditions, density, feed type, and time of year, so be patient and let nature take over!
Do you ship year-round?
- We ship 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 order - and vermicomposting journey - a great experience. Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we're happy to help!