Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mites in my vermicompost!

I've written a brief blurb on vermicomposting (indoor worm composting) in my recent update. What I didn't mention is that when you welcome a worm bin into your house, there will inevitably be harmless critters in there for the ride as well. Not really surprising when you consider that soil itself is full of living microbes. It's not uncommon to find mites, pot worms, and even millipedes and fruit flies. All are beneficial to the breakdown of food. These bugs only begin being a problem when the conditions in the worm bin are more favorable for the other critters then they are for the worms. Luckily, an abundance of each insect is an indicator of the health of you're compost. I've learned the hard way.
 Our vermicompost has mites in it. I admit, I was guilty of overfeeding, over watering, and turning my bin too acidic (orange peels, lemon etc). Two days ago, I noticed a mass of what looked like white mold, but has turned out to be large bunches of microscopic mites covering a lemon peel. I threw it outside, thinking that that was that.The next day, the mites were all over my bin! So I scraped the top layer of soil off, and of course, the next day they came back... worse this time. So... I spent the better part of today pulling all the decomposing mite infested food out, and am happy to see that we still have plenty of worms. I mixed the compost with dry newspaper, so we will see if it changes anything. If not, I have no idea what I'll do. Guess I'll just have to let nature take its course.


  1. I get mite infestations all the time. I used to be worried, but now I just leave the bin for a few days. It resolves its own issues. But yes, I believe adding dry newspaper will work too.

  2. I've honestly been starving the bin for about a month now, feeding the worms newspaper for now, and a veggie now and then.
    I've heard eggshells work wonders so I do do that as well, but when I tried feeding the bin, it caused another mite bloom. I think we're at the point now where the humidity and acidity is just right. :]


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