Tag Archives: raising red worms

How do I get rid of ants?

5 May

A frequently asked question I get from worm farmers and gardeners is, “How do I get rid of ants”?  Ants can be attracted to the food waste in your compost pile or worm bed.  The good news is that a healthy compost pile or worm bed is going to have a lot of beneficial bacteria and microbial activity that the ants won’t like.  So in most cases they are there for the food scraps, and will move along shortly.  If they don’t move along and decide to set up shop, or you just want them gone, I recommend diatomaceous earth.  Food grade Diatomaceous Earth or (DE)  are  finely ground remains of tiny ocean critters called diatoms.  DE can be sprinkled around any area where you want to get rid of insects or other segmented bodied critters.  The tiny powder kept dry will stick to the ants or other bugs and make tiny cuts that will dry them out and kill them.  Wet DE won’t stick, so keep your powder dry.  Also, be sure to get food grade and not pool grade DE.  Pool grade is super fine and can be dangerous when breathed in.

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DE is natural and won’t harm your worms or you.  Other ant killers that contain chemicals might be harmful to your worms.

 

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Paul’s worm bin in North Carolina

9 Apr

A big thank you to Paul in North Carolina for sending us these pics of his compost tumbler and worm bin.  Great work!

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Weekend Worm Workshop Saturday 10/19 @ 33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX

17 Oct

Fall Garden Fest

TexasRedWorms will be in Boerne, TX this Saturday the 19th at 33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX.  We will be there to talk about composting with worms, setting up, and other how to information.

We’ll be there from 10am-11am Saturday morning.

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Houston Based Startup Turning Juice Bar Pulp Into Black Gold

4 Oct

Solaris Ag Base from Houston, TX is producing worm castings from juice bars all over the Houston area.  Anson Woods and his team are expanding their operation into a warehouse facility.  Worm castings (black gold) the perfect fertilizer produced from nutrient dense juice pulp and coffee grounds by Anson’s worms.  Instead of filling up dumpsters, this waste is being used to produce soil enriching and life giving worm castings packed with pH neutral and beneficial micro-organisms.

Congrats to Anson and Solaris Ag Base on their continued success, and thank you for choosing Texas Red Worms as your composting worm supplier.

Take a look at this pic from Anson’s original worm farm.  What a gorgeous set up!Solaris Ag Base

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Red Mites and Red Worms

16 Jul
Red Mites killing a red worm

Red Mites killing a red worm

Red mites on watermelon rind.

Red mites on watermelon rind.

I’ve encountered these red devils before but not at this level.  Unlike most visitors in your worm bin, these guys are parasites to worms.  (see top picture).  Red mites flourish and can become a problem in a bin that is too moist, has too much food, or too acidic.  Don’t panic if you have a few mites, but a bin that is has been neglected and unkept in these conditions can pose a problem.  My outbreak was caused by overfeeding before we headed out for our July 4th vacation, and was left to fester for more than a week.  Getting rid of a red mite infestation can be a challenge.

I’ve tried several methods and have shown below a little experiment I began today.  I scraped the top of some red mite infected bins and partially filled some small shoebox containers.  From Left to Right in pic below 1. control 2. diatomaceous earth 3. watermelon rind 4. agricultural lime.

1. The control bin will be left open and scraped from time to time to see how long it takes to get rid of the red mites.

2. Diatomaceous Earth has been applied to top of #2.  DE needs to be kept dry in order for it to stick to bugs and make tiny cuts that will dry them out and kill them off.

3. Watermelon rind placed on top to attract red mites and discard.  I will replace with a new one and repeat and see how this does.

4. Ag Lime dusted on top.  Ag lime is alkaline and will hopefully bring the acidic bedding closer to neutral.  The high alkalinity concentrated on the top should burn up the red mites and not harm the worms.

4 methods for getting rid of red mites

These methods have been used before and should all work.  I just kind of wanted to see them head to head.  We’ll see how this turns out.  The good news is most of the red mites have been dismissed without harming too many of my bins and worms.  Additionally, I learned a valuable lesson about overfeeding, and next time I’ll use more composted manure and less of my worm chow mix.  My mistakes were 1. overfeeding 2. too wet 3. too much peat moss and too little composted manure (which made my bedding a little acidic) 4. My infected bins were unattended for a week.  Had I caught them sooner it wouldn’t have been much of an issue.

 

Join us for worm composting and compost tea talk at the Alamo Heights Community Garden

16 Apr

Today Tuesday, April 16th, from 6-8pm at the Alamo Heights Community Garden Texas Red Worms will be with Green Spaces Alliance at 403 Ogden St.  Join us for instruction and discussion on worms, composting, and compost tea.

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Spring Fever Festival March 23, 2013. 33 Herff Road, Boerne TX 78006.

12 Mar

The Spring Fever Festival is Saturday March 23, 2013 at 33 Herff Road, Boerne TX 78006. Kyle from Texas Red Worms will be speaking at 11 a.m. I will be presenting basics of worm composting and answering questions on worm farming. I look forward to seeing you there.

Upcoming events include an April 16th appearance in San Antonio with Green Spaces Alliance.  Stay tuned for more details.