Are those baby worms?

white mites

My camera didn’t have enough zoom to get a good picture of the white mites, but this is a pretty good representation that I found online.

I’ve been feeding my worms once every few days, and this time when I went to feed them (zucchini and yellow squash was on the menu), I noticed hundreds of tiny white things in the bin.  “Are those worm eggs?”  I thought with excitement.  They were very small, round, and white.  No, they couldn’t be worm eggs because I noticed they were slowly moving.  Are those baby worms??  I had no idea what a baby worm looked like, however, after a quick Goodsearch, I learned that baby worms look like small worms- not like tiny white dots.  Uh oh.

I found that these little guys are most likely white mites according to this source.  They thrive in high moisture conditions, and in the case of worm bins, they are an indication of overfeeding.  Whoops.  White mites can also be an indication of a declining pH.  Oh no!

The good news is that they are not harmful to the red wigglers.  But still, I don’t want a white mite bin.  I want a worm bin and preferably one where the pH allows my worms to survive.  Therefore, I removed the most recent meal of zucchini and squash, and I picked out the scraps where most of the white mites seemed to be congregated.  In order to further remediate the situation, I’m going to put my worms on a diet, and when I do feed them again I’ll try to raise the pH a bit.  Worms like a pH of about 7.  Since I don’t have a way to measure pH, I’ll have to experiment to get the right concoction.  I added a sprinkle of baking soda, and the next time we use an egg, I’ll add the egg shell to my bin.  I knew that a worm bin would take some trial and error before I got it right; let’s just hope that after some trial and error I do eventually get it right.

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3 thoughts on “Are those baby worms?

  1. Speaking of the eggshell thing, here is another cool thing you can do with eggshells to further recycle them and also get absorb-able calcium in the process: http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/supp2.php. Take rinsed and dried eggshells, ground them into powder, and mix them with lemon juice (citric acid). The calcium carbonate in the eggshells mixes with the the citric acid to create calcium citrate, which is a highly bioavailable form of calcium for the body. When I tried it, the lemon juice and the eggshells bubbled when mixed, indicating the release of carbonates in the form of CO2. Also you should be able to buy basic pH test strips from the local pharmacy/lab supply store (American Science and Surplus)

    • I’ve never heard of that egg shell/ lemon juice mixture. Weird! And yes- if my worm bin doesn’t stabilize I’ll probably have to buy some pH strips. Good to know that they’re not too hard to find.

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