The last thing most worm bin owners want is mites. They are a nuisance, and can make it hard to produce the high quality compost that we all know and love. But how do you get rid of them? And what about preventing them from coming back again? Well, allow us to give you some insight into the best ways of doing both!
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What are mites and how do they affect worm farms?
Mites are tiny insects that live in the soil and on plants. They feed off of other small organisms, such as worms, by piercing their skin and sucking out their fluids. This causes damage to the worm’s body tissues, which reduces its ability to fight disease or absorb nutrients from food sources. And because mites themselves carry many diseases, your worm can easily catch one.
The most common type of mite is the red velvet mite! They are a pest that often attacks worms in their early stages of development and leaves them unhealthy or dead. Mites also leave behind an excreta substance called “frass” which attracts more pests to the area.
Do you have mites in your worm bin?
Fifty-five percent of people who keep a composting system at home will experience some type of pest infestation. If the worms are not given enough room to move around, they can become irritable and more susceptible to pests that eat their skin tissues. Red velvet mites are most commonly found in worm bins that are too small.
How do you get rid of mites in your worm bin and how do you keep them out?
You can eliminate the infestation by giving the worms more room to move around or transferring their bedding into a larger container. You should also increase circulation by opening doors and windows, if you happen to have your worm bin indoors.
If you have an infestation, it is good to separate the worms into individual tubs and remove them from your bin. You should also make sure that no other animal or insects are hiding in any of your bins before starting a new composting cycle with fresh bedding. If you find mites on your hands, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
Steps for getting rid of mites in your worm farm:
-separate worms into individual containers and remove them from worm bin
-make sure no other animal or insects are hiding in any of your bins before starting a new composting cycle with fresh bedding.
-wash hands thoroughly with soap and water if you find mites on your hands.
Now that you know how to get rid of mites in your worm bin and keep them out, you can enjoy a healthier environment.
How do mites get into your worm bin?
There are many ways that mites can get into your worm bin:
-birds in the area may drop their droppings on top of composting material, which then carry and spread mites to other areas
-if you have wild animals or pets near your bins, they could unknowingly bring them inside
If we stop these mites at the door, we can keep them out of our worm bins and away from our composting materials.
-thoroughly clean hands with soap before handling any material related to your worm bin
-wear gloves when gardening or working around wild animals near worm bin
-make sure that all holes in your worm bin are patched
-remove any rocks, sticks or anything else that may attract wild animals near the bins
When mites get into your worms bin, it can bring a host of problems. The most common is infestation in house plants and tomatoes who have been grown indoors using compost from infected bins. It's important to take the time to keep your worm bin clean and free of mites.
How do mites affect plants and gardens?
-mites carry disease, which when spread to plants for house use or in gardens can be dangerous
-the most common is the tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)
-if you have infected compost and are growing tomatoes indoors, you may see stunted growth with blackening of roots or leaves. This will happen with any houseplant that you are growing using infected compost.
-the best way to avoid this problem is by removing the mites from your worms bin and keeping them out
What types of mites get into worm bins?
Generally there are two types of mites found in worm bins. These would be red and white mites. Red mites live on the surface of the bedding material while white ones live within it.
Facts about red mites:
-They suck the liquids out of worms and their eggs
-Red mites are more attracted to moist bedding than dry.
Facts about white mites:
-White mites can live without air for as long as a month by entering an inactive state in which they stop eating, but remain active or move only when disturbed
-White mites are more attracted to dry bedding than moist
How do you get rid of red and white mites when found in your worm bin:
-The best way to get rid of mites is by using an insecticide.
-If you do not want to use an insecticide, then there are a few alternatives:
-Add more dry bedding so it is drier and less moist in the worm bin
-This will make it harder for red mites to survive
-Add more bedding material, like leaves, that will dry out the worm bin.
-This will make it harder for white mites to survive
-It is important not to put wet or moist materials in your worm bin because this can cause problems with mold and fungi growth as well as making it easier for red and white mites to survive and live in the moist environment
-It is also important not to overfeed your worms because this will create more moisture which can make it easier for red and white mites to thrive.
-Reducing the amount of food you feed your worm bin on a regular basis will cause them to eat their bedding, which will dry out your worm bin.
-This, in turn, can help to reduce the risk of red and white mites living within the moist environment.
Red and white mites will wreak havoc on your worm farm. Not only will they affect your worms they will also destroy plants and gardens. If mites are found inside the worm bin it's important to remove the worms from the bin, remove all bedding and wash your bin thoroughly. If this doesn't solve the problem you will have to start with a batch of fresh worms that are not contaminated with mites. Mites are very small and sometimes hard to see with the naked eye. If your worms have any amount of mites visible on them do not place them back into your worm bin.