Updated: Mar 2, 2019
Now that you know a little more about vermicomposting - what it is and how you'll be contributing to this process when purchasing Compottery - you probably still have additional questions. It doesn't take an expert to begin composting your food scraps, but, there's a first time for everything. When it comes to vermicomposting, there are common questions that Compottery users ask.
Here are your answers.
Do Worms Come Out of the Bin?
Many people are hesitant about having worms inside their home, even if they're inside the Compotterty. The good news is that worms will stay inside of the bin as long as you have made a happy home for them. After all, a dog usually doesn't want to run away from home if he knows how good he has it!
Therefore, if you start to notice that your worms are trying to leave the bin, that's usually indicative of the fact that something not right inside your Compottery. In most cases, it could be either that you are overfeeding the worms, and now there is moldy food inside (in which case you should remove it immediately), the moisture levels could be too wet or too dry, or there could be some other critters competing for their food.
If there's too much moisture, add more soil and avoid adding foods that contain a lot of water, like watermelon. If it's too dry, do the opposite. If you think you might be overfeeding the worms or that there are other critters getting in, see below.
Does Compottery Smell?
If you are keeping the worms on a vegetarian diet, with some occasional grains (no meat or dairy) and you are not overfeeding them, then your worm bin should not have any odor. If you find there is an odor, double check to see that you are feeding the worms the right things and that their portion sizes are manageable. Also, make sure that you haven't accidentally spilled any food scraps around your Compottery! The area where you keep your bin should be clean at all times.
If you notice a scent or the worms are climbing out, then it's likely due to overfeeding. In this case, you should lessen the amount of food scraps that you put in, change how you're putting in your food scraps (blending vs. whole), and monitor your Compottery daily to check if there's improvement.
Does Compottery Attract Other Pests or Critters?
Getting used to having worms in your house is one thing, but, when other bugs start to get in, that's another. Unfortunately, this can happen if the right (or the wrong) factors are present, such as where you're storing your Compottery and what the conditions are in your household.
It is possible that Compottery (and any other worm bin) could attract fruit flies if you don’t cover your food scraps - especially, fruit - with a dry soil mix or newspaper. Worm bins, in general, can also attract mites, which are very, very tiny - almost microscopic - critters that play an important role in the composting process.
There are two different kinds of mites, red and white, and they look like dots moving around your worm bin. The red mites can compete with worms for food, but, if you keep the bin inside and keep food scraps covered, you will minimize these issues.
Ultimately, if you keep your bin outside or in a space that other critters can easily access, then, yes, you'll have more unwanted critters that creep in. But, animals like mice and rats will not be attracted to the worm bin, as long as you are keeping them on their vegetarian diet and leaving nothing exposed.
Tip: Neem Oil is a natural insecticide that is 100% safe for worms and humans. Spraying a little in your Compottery can help get rid of mites and fruit flies.
Where to Keep My Compottery?
Most people are hesitant to keep their Compottery inside their home because they may be afraid that the worms will climb out, or that Compottery might start to smell. But, in reality, putting Compottery outside can lead to problems. For instance, it can attract more harmful critters if kept outside. The worms are better off inside because Compottery is a controlled ecosystem that thrives in this kind of environment.
How Fast Does It Take for Worms to Break Down Food Scraps?
Typically, a red wiggler can eat about half of its own weight in food each day. So, if you have one pound of worms - which is 1,000 worms (shocking, right?!) - you could feed them about ½ pound of food waste each day. But, it’s also worth mentioning that the state of your food scraps themselves make a difference.
For example, let's take a banana peel. There are several ways you can add that peel to your compost. Maybe you'll rip it up, maybe you'll blend it, or perhaps throw it in whole. Whatever method you choose, you will see different outcomes when it comes to your worms' eating habits.
Generally, the more surface area you have on your food waste, the faster the worms will be able to process it. Therefore, for optimal composting, you should blend or juice your food scraps before tossing them into the worm bin, though, it's not always necessary. Keep this in mind when adding food scraps to your Compottery.
Compottery is a sustainable vermicomposting tool you can easily put anywhere in your home. to learn more, contact Jessica today!