Being cold blooded means worms don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature. This is why managing temperatures of your worm farm is so important. When temperatures rise higher or drop lower than their comfort zone their activity will diminish, they will consume less food and in some instances they will not survive.
Compost worms generally live comfortably and breed at (bedding) temperatures between 13-29°C. Managing temperature extremes can be challenging but here are some tips to help ensure your worms survive and thrive through the different seasons:
Managing hot temperatures:
- Add thinner layers of feed to minimise the heat generated by decomposing food.
- Limit feed to certain sections of the bin so that there are cooler areas where the worms can go to escape decomposing, heat-conveying food.
- Your instinct may be to cool down the bin by adding water, but that can actually cause the bin to heat up because water will fill in the air pockets in the bedding, bringing about anaerobic conditions.
- Instead of spraying water to soak the bedding, give it a fine mist.
- Freezing your scraps before adding them to your habitat can assist in dropping temperature levels.
- Always ensure your habitat is located in a fully shaded area.
Managing cold temperatures:
- Increase your nitrogen (greens) inputs as decomposing food generates heat.
- Insulate the habitat in some way to assist with keeping in heat
- Relocate the habitat to an area small amounts of sunlight
- Add a top layer of moist carbon input or a blanket to assist in holding warmth into the bedding
The large thermal mass design of our habitat design assists in managing temperatures changes as it allows space for worms to burrow to, allowing them areas to escape extreme heat or cold.