When I put the second
round of food scraps in the worm
bin this week, I was surprised to find some worms under fresh
bedding that I'd laid out on the far side of the bin to drain.
This area is six feet away from where we'd introduced the worms and had
no food to attract them, making me wonder what worms were doing there.
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My first thought was that the
worms might actually be run-of-the-mill earthworms since I'd had the
cardboard bedding sitting out on the ground before soaking it and
adding it to the worm bin, and I'd noticed at least a dozen worms
taking advantage of the moist hiding place. However, a close look
at the foraging worms in the bin versus a
typical earthworm from outside the bin showed that the foraging worms
were redworms --- notice the almost orangey cast to the redworms versus
a purplish cast to the random earthworm, and the obvious yellowish
Poking around inside the
bin, I also discovered that the worms had found all of the food scraps,
although they seemed to be congregated in some areas at much higher
concentrations than in others. I guess worms travel further than
I give them credit for. So, the question is --- how do worms
decide where they want to go? Do they just move randomly until
they hit something good to eat, or can they smell food from a
distance? Do they give off any chemicals to attract their buddies
when they find a good stash of vittles? Anyone know a good source
of information on redworm biology, behavior, and ecology?