African Nightcrawlers

How Many Worms Do You Need for You Worm Composting Bin?

One of the main questions that we get all year long is "How many worms do I need for my vermicomposting bin?".  Many people start their Red Worm composting bins using bins that they have in the house, or something that they bought inexpensively and they have no idea how many worms it takes to get their worm composter going.  I have probably answered that question a thousand times over the years.

Now the work is done for us thanks to a site called http://www.howmanywormsdoineed.com  .

The site allows you to choose 3 different types of worms and then input your worm bin demensions by inches.  The site then provides how many worms you will need for your worm bin or worm bed.

The cool thing is that it is simple and easy and accurate.  Check it out and let us know your thoughts.  We will be linking to it on our site too.  We have been give permission to link to the calculator below.  Try it out and then squirm on over and get some worms from Wormman.com.  🙂

 







Result

Grain Weevils

Grain Weevils, Wheat Weevils A Great Dart Frog Food

Grain weevils are pretty new to the feeder market, even if they are very old to the pest market.  Mealworms, superworms, fruit flies, and many other feeders are also pests and they are used as feeder insects.

It has taken us 5 months but we have finally been licensed by the USDA to grow, breed and ship Grain Weevils. We have Grain Weevils for sale in multiple sizes, starting at 8 ounces and going up to a 32 ounce culture.

We have to ship in escape proof containers, with our permit in or on the box, and we have to provide a letter instructing customers how to dispose of their Wheat Weevils when they no longer want them.

These are a very interesting feeder.  Our Darts love them.  We have three different kinds of Dart Frogs and not one of them has turned their noses up at these weevils.

They also play dead.  Grain Weevils will pretend that they are dead if you touch them.

Grain Weevils are easy to raise on wheat berries.  We grow ours in plastic containers on wheat berries alone.  They do not drink anything.  We split the cultures every month and freshen the old cultures with new wheat berreies to keep the process growing.

We now have over a thousand cultures, and although I will miss them, it is time for our Wheat Weevils to find new homes. Give your Dart Frogs a snack that they will be talking about for days.

We are shipping 12 ounce cultures with wheat berries via Priority mail.  You can check out prices and more information on our site http://www.wormman.com/.

They are so ugly that they are actually cute.  Check out their snouts. If you would like to discuss Grain Weevils, then join our forum or email me.

Crickets

Cricket Pasta…Yum? Eating Live Crickets as Human Food?

Live Crickets For Sale...As Human Food?

I have eaten live crickets by accident on occasion.  It happens.   I have probably accidentally eaten mealworms, waxworms, wax moths, flies (double yuck), and all sorts of things.  Most of the time, you don't know it until the insect hits the back of your throat, or you start crunching something when you didn't put anything in your mouth.

Well, there is an entire cricket eating movement afoot.  Live crickets are now being used as food for Humans.  Why not?  They are good for us and they don't taste too badly.  I would not reccomend eating them while they are alive because they get a little jumpy.

Here is an interesting article about cricket pasta and eating live crickets.

If you decided that you would like to try eating crickets, we can help.  Just order some here.  🙂

Here is the news article on Cricket Pasta.

Confused Flour Beetles

Confused Flour Beetles aren’t so Confusing to Breed and Care for any Longer

If you are looking for Flour Beeltles to feed your dart frogs, fish or reptiles, then you probably have become as confused as the Confused Flour Beetle because there are a couple beetles that are often confused with each other.  There is the Confused Flour Beetle(Tribolium confusum) and the Red Flour Beetle(Tribolium castaneum), also known as the "Rice Flour Beetle.

Both the Confused Flour Beetle and The Rice Flour Beetle are from the Darkling Beetle family that includes Mealworms and Superworms.

The difference between the Rice Flour Beetle and the Confused Flour beetle are in how many clubs they have on their antenae.  Rice Flour Beetles have 3 clubs and Confused Flour Beetles have 4.  Other than that, they look the same.  They are the same reddish color and they are both about the same size which is 1/8" to 1/4" in length.

We raise Rice Flour Beetles in brown rice flour and we raise Confused Flour Beetles in Confused Flour.  Just kidding.  We raise and breed Confused Flour Beetles in whole wheat flour.

The Confused Flour Beetle and Red Rice Beetle are easy to culture and breed.  You simply place some adults in bedding and use a secure mesh lid, with a screen small enough to keep beetles and larvae in the container and that is it.  Both like it on the warm side to breed well, so keeping Confused Beetles and Red Rice Beetles warm, about 80 Degrees, will reward you will plenty of beetles to feed your frogs and small reptiles and amphibians.

We use 32 ounce culture cups with fabric lids for our breeding containers.  We start with about an inch of medium and then add an inch every month as the beetles colonize the bedding.  We spilt the cultures when they we fill the culture cup up about 3/4's of the way.  One culture, filled 3/4's of the way up can start 3 to 4 new cultures.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Grow Chickens For Free Using Worm Poop and Black Soldier Fly Larvae

How to Get Chicken Eggs For Free From Worm Poop

Times are tough and people are looking for ways to save money and survive. We have discovered a way to raise chickens, and get eggs for free.

What you will need for this project:

  1. Super Worm Poop.
  2. Black Soldier Fly  Larvae
  3. A bin to keep your starter larvae in

Soldier Grubs is the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly.  The Black Soldier Fly inhabits most of the United States and is very active in the warm and sunny months of the year.

Soldier Flies to not carry disease and they do not bite, although they do look like wasps.

Soldier Grubs love Super Worm Poop.  The Soldier Fly will lay eggs in the worm poop, or frass, and the eggs will hatch within a week in warm weather.  The larvae will quickly devour the frass.  You will have to continuously add more Super Worm Poop until the larvae reach about an inch in length.  Your chickens will devour them, and that will help your chickens get big and plump and lay eggs.

 

The first video will show you Black Soldier Fly Larvae growing in nothing but Super Worm Poop.

The second video is of two Black Soldier flies breeding.

The third video will show you a cluster of Black Soldier Fly Larvae laid in cardboard.

African Nightcrawlers

Making Peat Moss Free Red Composting Worms Breeder Bedding

I get at least an email per week asking me how to make bedding for breeding worms.  Then I get more about how to make bedding without peat moss.  We do not use peat moss because it is nonrenewable, so we opt for creating our own "Worm-Safe" bedding, which can be used for breeding Red Worms, African Night Crawlers and European Nightcrawlers, also known as "Euro Worms".  All red composting worms can use our Worm-Safe worm bedding recipe.

I have made a long video explaining the process.  I apologize for the length of the video but I wanted to get all of the information in.  You can also see a cameo of my son's pig, Spamela.

Making the worm breeder bedding is a two part process.  The first part is mixing about 40% fresh horse, rabbit or cow manure, or aged fowl manure, with 60% straw or other brown material like dried grass clippings.  That mixture is moistened and allowed to heat for a couple of weeks.

Then, once past the compost heating stage, we mix that with 50/50 with shredded cardboard and newspaper that has been wet down, mixed and also allowed to age about a week or so.

We mix those two parts together, 50-50 and let it age again for week to ensure that it will not heat again.  We take daily temperature readings with a composting thermometer.

Then we add the bedding to our composting or bait worm breeder bins.  We only use about 3 inches of that mixture and we put in our breeders.  They stay in that worm bin for 21 days at around 75 degrees and then they are moved to fresh bins.  The egg capsules and babies, which are now in the bin with our original mixture, are placed in an incubator, bin and all, and hatch out.  We keep them in that bin until we can see them easily.  At that point we put them into a growout worm bed and feed them to get them to mature size as quickly as possible.

I will be posting some diagrams and pictures of our system soon.  Please ask your questions below or in our forum.

Thank you.

Ken
Worm Man's Worm Farm.  Wormman.com

Insect frass

Exciting, New Super Worm Poop Product!

At least I think that our new Super Worm Poop Product is exciting.  We are having our vinyl stickers for the shaker bottles made now.  Imagine the thrill of being able to shake Super Worm Poop over your garden soil and turn it into lush green plants, vegetables and fruit.  Are you imagining it?  Ahh!

Check it out!

Super Worm Poop

Insect Frass makes great fertilizer.

Our company produces Superworms, mealworms on 100% Human grade table grains and vegetables from our farm.  We grow potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and zucchini just for our worms.  We do not use chemicals, pesticides or hormones for our Superworms or Mealworms, so you can be positive that the worm poop that goes into your garden is only 100% nutrient rich worm poop.

Benefits:

Not only is our Super Worm Poop loaded with nitrogen    Super Worm poop enriches your garden soil and hydroponic systems with micro-organisms which will improve root structure and give your plants the push they need to be greener and healthier than ever. 

Super Worm Poop  is a natural source of chitin. Chitin is in the exoskeleton of our Superworms and Mealworms.  As the worms grow, they shed and those skins also grind into the worm poop.  The addition of chitin to hydroponic systems and garden soil can produce phenomenal results.   Chitin works by encouraging the growth of chitin eating bacteria. This bacteria attacks many forms of harmful plant fungus and nematodes. Chitin can help flowering plants produce flowers and fruits, and can also help plants produce natural oils and resins.  Think aromatic botanical and medicinal plants here.  

The Science:

On anti-pathogenic effects:

“A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields”

Russell G. Sharp 2013

“Chitin and its derivatives have been repeatedly shown to protect crops from pests, pathogens and physiological disorders. A number of modes of action have been identified for the beneficial effects of chitin-based treatment on crops, including direct antibiosis and the induction of plant defences. However, their action in stimulating beneficial microbes has proved particularly impressive, with chitin/chitosan amplifying the effect of beneficial microbes in controlling pathogens, promoting plant growth and remediating soil pollutants. Combined, these effects of chitin addition and the subsequent responses of plants and microbes have led to improvements in disease control, plant growth, and ultimately improved crop yield and quality. The effectiveness of chitin-based treatments has been found to be comparable to those achieved with current synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This effectiveness combined with the low cost, low concentration required, ample supply (recycled waste) and health/environmental safety lead to a forecast that a range of chitin-based/augmented products will become a more common feature in agriculture in the near future.”

 

How to use:

As a Hydroponic additive:

Mix 1-2 tbsp. of Super Worm Poop per gallon of nutrient solution. Keep well aerated.

For Indoor Plants:

Super Worm Poop can be mixed directly into the soil. Sprinkle the poop lightly on top of the soil on indoor plants. The Super Worm Poop nutrients will soak down thru the soil each time the soil is watered.

To Start Seeds:

The size and growth rate of seedlings and transplants will be remarkably improved when mixing 1 cup of Super Worm Poop to 1 cubic foot of seed starting mix.

In Your garden:

Super Worm Poop should be mixed directly into the soil. Simply lightly sprinkle Super Worm Poop around your plants right onto the soil using the shaker bottle your Super Worm Poop is delivered in.  The wonderful nutrients will soak down thru the soil each time the soil is watered.

On Your Roses and Perennials:

Top dress roses and perennials with Super Worm Poop or mix into the soil above the roots.

Right on Your Established lawn:

Broadcast Super Worm Poop at a rate of 5 lbs of insect frass per 100 Sq. feet of lawn.

For New lawns:

Apply 5 Lbs. of Super Worm Poop per 100 sq. ft. of lawn. Work the Super Worm Poop into the top 2" of the soil. Apply grass seed and water well.

Planting trees and shrubs:

Dig your planting hole. Apply 1/4" of Super Worm Poop to the center of the hole and spread the plants roots over the insect frass. Insert your plant and fill the rest of the hole with fertile soil.

Super Worm Poop Tea:

We do not recommend drinking Super Worm Poop, but if you are  fan of red worm compost tea, then you will love Super Worm Poop Tea.  The tea can be used to fertilize house and garden plants while watering. You can also be spray the tea on plant  leaves as a foliar fertilizer.

How to Make Super Worm Poop Tea:

Method 1: Soak 1 tbsp. of Super Worm Poop in one gallon of water for 24 hours. Strain the tea solution and dilute with water as necessary before use.

Method 2: Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1" full of Super Worm Poop and then fill the bucket with water. Use a small aquarium pump with a bubbler to add oxygen to the solution. The tea should be allowed to steep with the oxygen bubbles for at least a few hours. Strain the tea solution and dilute with water as necessary before use.

For a microbial kick to your Worm Poop Tea, add 1/4 cup of molasses when brewing.

 

Live Roaches

Turkestan Roaches Egg Cases. Breeding Live Feeder Red Runner Roaches

The Turkestan Roach, also known as the Red Runner, Rusty Red and Blatta Bug, is a mid-sized, shiny, warm weather roach that is native to Asia.  (Here is an interesting article from Wikipedia)

The Turkestan Roach is fast moving, which helps stimulate reptiles who are attracted to moving prey.  Red Runner Roaches cannot climb which makes them ideal if you to not want to use Bug Boundary in liquid or Grease form (Sorry for the shameless plug).

Turkestan Roaches are a beautiful roach that is fun to watch.  Red runners do not give live birth.  They lay egg cases which hatch out under the right conditions of heat and humidity.  They prefer a warm home so be sure to keep them by your furnace or above your refrigerator in winter, or in a heated enclosure where you can keep the temperature above 80 degrees.  They will breed like crazy at around 85 degrees.

They are easy to feed with carrots, lettuce, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  Be sure to remove any food before it molds.

This is an easy to breed roach if you are looking for feeders that only grow to about a 1.5 inches.

I was able to get our Red Runner Roaches on video depositing egg cases a couple of years ago.  Check it out and please let me know your thoughts on these great roaches.

Are there pitfalls, watch outs or tricks that you know of?  Let's hear them.
Thank you!

Ken Chiarella

Composting Stuff

Update to $4.46 Red Worm Composter

I wanted to share quick update on our compost bin creation using a $4.46 Wal-Mart tub.  To refresh your memory, we found a bin at Wal-Mart that is being sold by a worm farm on the internet for about $100.  We wanted to show you that you could duplicate that bin for about $5.  Here is that video. 

We are 3 weeks in and the worms are breeding and eating the newspapers and cardboard bedding.  They are depositing capsules all over the place and those will hatch in a couple of weeks.  I will continue to do updates until all of the paper and cardboard is gone.  I will not add any additional food to the bin until after we see the project through.  The Red Worms will be fine because of the amount of paper and rabbit poop I used when making the bin.

In the real world, I would advise taking those breeders out of there as soon as babies are seen in the red worm composting bin.  The reason is that removing them will allow the babies to have plenty of food before you need a bedding change.

Of course, moving the breeders to a new bin will also allow them to continue to breed strongly, especially if your goal is to increase your worm supply.

For our cheap worm bin project, we will keep the breeders in the bin to concentrate the number of worms we have on creating worm castings for our garden.

Three weeks later and I would call our $4.46 worm composting bin a success.

African Nightcrawlers

African Nightcrawlers Getting Ready to Become Breeders

It is that time of the year here at Wormman.com.  It is mid-June and it is getting hot.  The African Nightcrawlers are starting to stir and they are growing quickly now that the natural heat is kicking in.  This is a short video of some juvenile African nightcrawlers that will be breeders in another two weeks or so.  They are beautiful worms.  They also happen to be the best casting makers because of their huge appetites which are only matched by their large size.