The red wiggler is one of the most popular worms for use in composting. Unlike other earthworms, red wigglers don’t live in earth and prefer to be underneath damp plant litter and decomposing organic matter. There have been a lot of names given to the red wiggler, Some of them are accurate, and some of them are completely wrong for the species. This is because red wigglers look a lot like other types of worms.
Regardless of the misconceptions, red wigglers are very fascinating in their own right, here are some cool facts you should know.
- Your unlikely to find a red wiggler in soil, At least of their own free will. It’s just not for them and they prefer the damp underside of decomposing organic matter. This makes them an ideal composting worm and is the reason for its massive popularity among gardeners and vericomposters.
- Red wigglers are considered nocturnal. This is because of their photosensitivity which causes them pain and potentially death if they are in the sunlight for too long. That has often spurred offhand jokes about them being “vampire worms”.
- They have a defensive mechanism, and when handled improperly or roughly, will release a foul-smelling liquid that is annoying to get off your hands.
- Much like humans and other species, the younger worms will eat more food than the older worms. If you are ever trying to min/max your composting pile, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
- When a red wiggler is sexually ready, its clitellum will turn a dark orange to indicate its intent to mate.
- Just like most earthworm species, red wigglers are also hermaphrodites. Although they have both sexual organs, they cannot reproduce with themselves and do require other worms. Interestingly, when a worm mates it both “impregnates” and becomes “pregnant”.
- Red wigglers need the grit to aid in their digestion. This is accomplished in the gizzards. (Worms have no teeth!)
- Red worms have no bones. But they still need calcium!
- Red wigglers make great fish bait, Fish love em’.