Ask a Question forum: Worms In My Compost Bin

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Name: Tiffani
Georgia (Zone 8b)
I'm just a regular person
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tffhowa
Aug 1, 2016 8:33 AM CST
Hello, this is my first time making compost and there are these big Brown worms that have somehow gotten into my compost bin. They look like big black caterpillars with grooves on them like large screws. At first it was just a few, now they have grown into a community. I'm scared to turn the compost over. I have it covered up so they won't get out and get me. Is this normal and if it's not what do I do to get rid of them? I don't wanna kill anybody but they are enormous and it's a lot of them. They look like snakes. I'm nervous. My Compost was doing so good but are they gonna ruin the compost I've been working on all summer? Please help. I'm a nature person and all but when the bugs outnumber me I feel threatened. Should I take the top off and let the sun and birds getum, what do I do? I mean at least that would help the food chain. Need insight. Thank you!
DC Georgia Girl
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 1, 2016 8:46 AM CST
Can you upload some photos of these worms please?

It is normal for worms/earthworms to inhabit compost bins; they are part of the cycle that breaks the material down.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 1, 2016 8:50 AM CST
Welcome! Tiffani. Do they look like this?

http://bugguide.net/node/view/5578
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Aug 1, 2016 9:00 AM CST
Oh, gag. Those look gross. LOL
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Aug 1, 2016 2:55 PM CST
Those arent worms! Sighing!
kitt
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 1, 2016 3:02 PM CST
kittriana said:Those arent worms! Sighing!


Tiffani said they look like caterpillars with grooves, and caterpillars are often referred to as worms, hence cutworms, armyworms etc.

Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Aug 1, 2016 3:31 PM CST
sooby said: Welcome! Tiffani. Do they look like this?

]http://bugguide.net/node/view/5578


That was my first though from the description.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Tiffani
Georgia (Zone 8b)
I'm just a regular person
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tffhowa
Aug 6, 2016 8:28 AM CST
@Horntoad Yes that is exactly what they look like. Are they going to turn into flies, because if they do they are going to be the biggest flues on earth. The kind that might fly off with me! Nevermind me. Just trying to bring some sunlight into this grim subject. Anyway keeping it serious, what are they and will they do harm to my compost? Are they normal or did I do something wrong? More importantly should they stay or should they be served with an eviction notice?
DC Georgia Girl
Name: Tiffani
Georgia (Zone 8b)
I'm just a regular person
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tffhowa
Aug 6, 2016 8:38 AM CST
@Greene and @Sooby My goodness you guys know exactly what I'm talking about! Thank you for providing info instead of judgment. I did state this is my first time making compost and this a forum for questions.

If I knew what they were there would not be a need to ask, but you guys hit it dead on the nail head.

Hi Greene I'm in Conyers, Georgia. I just love Savannah. Tybee Island and River Street. One of the best places in the world to me. My girlfriends and I are plan on visiting soon to go on the history tours and eat, yummy!

Thanks everyone for the feedback.
DC Georgia Girl
[Last edited by tffhowa - Aug 6, 2016 8:42 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1235241 (9)
Name: Tiffani
Georgia (Zone 8b)
I'm just a regular person
Image
tffhowa
Aug 6, 2016 8:40 AM CST
@Horntoad Thank you too for your help! I tip my hat to you.
DC Georgia Girl
Name: Tiffani
Georgia (Zone 8b)
I'm just a regular person
Image
tffhowa
Aug 6, 2016 9:02 AM CST
Well everybody turns out these Black Soilder Larva guys are good hard workers that I want in my compost! I found this article that explained their many virtues! http://www.edthatmatters.com/composing-using-black-soldier-f...

My whole mindset has changed about them. I would not have understood what they were had you guys not responded with such excellent identification skills. You all are the best. Hats off to the forum contributors who helped! I tip my hat to you. Thank You!
DC Georgia Girl
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 6, 2016 9:03 AM CST
Unless they totally gross you out they probably aren't a problem, maybe even beneficial, but these two articles may help you decide if you want to evict them:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/big-maggots-your-...

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/black_soldier_...

Edited to say we crossed posted, glad you've found the answer to your question.
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 6, 2016 9:04 AM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 6, 2016 9:05 AM CST
Here's some more information on the black soldier flies and their larvae. If that's what you have, sounds like they are a good thing.
http://steamykitchen.com/21602-make-3-day-compost-black-sold...
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 6, 2016 4:13 PM CST
Happy to see you succeeding with the compost. The black soldier fly larvae are very hard workers. Thumbs up

Glad you enjoy Savannah. If you plan a trip please try to have it coincide with the local swap - usually the first Saturday in October and April - so you can pick up a ton of free plants for you and your friends.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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