Nightcrawlers are worm-like creatures that live in the ground and eat decaying leaves, plants, and animals. They're often called nightcrawlers because they can be seen at night during wet weather. This blog post will discuss what they eat, where they find it, feed them properly, and what types of food should not be provided.
Nightcrawlers are a type of worm that lives in the ground and eats decaying plant material, insects, and other worms. They can be found during the day or night but are most active at night. The worms come out when it's wet outside because they need moisture to survive.
What do Nightcrawlers Eat?
Nightcrawlers will typically consume decaying leaves and plants and other small animals that dwell in the ground like slugs and insects. They also find food by burrowing through moist soil where other worm species have already eaten their fill of plant matter. When you're feeding them, you should make sure not to provide them any meat products such as fish scraps, chicken remains, oils from meats (such as bacon grease), or anything with salt on it! These foods may contain chemicals that could harm your pet worm population. PS. Do you know what worm casting tea is? Find out here.
There are all sorts of food you can feed them, but they will only eat a few things. You should make sure not to provide your worm population any human foods or anything toxic. Some items like chocolate and highly acidic coffee beans contain too many chemicals for the worms to handle, which could eventually lead to death in the worm population if overfed.
Foods they should eat but not too frequently are cornmeal, oatmeal, flour(any kind), wheat germ. Generally, worm food will need to be at least 50% plant matter, and the rest can vary from a variety of items like pasta (no sauce, please!), rice, crackers with cheese, or peanut butter on them. Remember that this is all for one nightcrawler, though, so it would take ten pounds of these foods to feed your population properly!
Flowers are also good sources of food because worms love pollen which plants produce when flowering. A lovely bouquet could go a long way toward feeding them as well as providing some needed color around the house. Occasionally you might find fruit such as apples rotting on the ground, and you can give this to them as well.
Starting with a healthy diet is vital for any living creature, even the worm!
How Do Nightcrawlers Eat?
Do nightcrawlers have mouths and teeth to eat?
They do not. Nightcrawlers eat by secreting a slime that helps them attract their prey. They will then draw the food into their mouths with muscles in their mouth.
Nightcrawlers are found all over North America and can be seen at any time of night or day, so they don't really "eat" as much as they just sort of graze when hungry. Most often, this worm is attracted to decomposing vegetation. Still, it might also seek out places where people have been digging, watering plants, fertilizing lawns, etc., because these types of activities create habitats for worms feeding on soil life like earthworms.
Do nightcrawlers carry home what they find? Or do they immediately start eating while still outside?
- Nightcrawlers will eat on the go. They do not carry what they find a home with them and don't typically store food in their burrows like other worm species.
Do nightcrawlers eat tomatoes?
Yes, but a tomato might be too challenging for a nightcrawler to digest because of its high acidity content, which may kill any digestive enzymes released by chewing or saliva when placed in contact with acidic foods (like many vegetables). Some worms found near decomposing vegetation will chew through more rigid plant materials than others, though, so this is difficult to answer definitively without knowing where your particular worm was collected from. The best way to tell if something is safe for your worms to eat would be by experimenting (see the worm food safe for nightcrawlers section below)
How do I know what to feed my worms?
- You'll want to start with an essential diet of vegetable scraps, fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked rice, or pasta. After this, you can add other foods that are either high in fiber content like oatmeal, bran cereal flakes, wheat germ, etc., or be not harmful when provided as part of a varied diet such as animal crackers. If your worm's population seems low, you should also try adding probiotics into their diets which may help them digest more efficiently due to higher populations of beneficial bacteria living within their digestive systems.
The best way would be to add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their diet. You can select a dose of ACV appropriate for the number and size of worms you have based on the provided worm food-safe table below and then add in other items into your worm's diet as desired.
- The list includes foods that are specifically good for nightcrawlers, foods they should not eat or avoid at all costs due to high levels of toxins, and probiotics which research has shown to be beneficial for health reasons relating to digestion by improving populations within their digestive systems thereby allowing them more efficient absorption of nutrients from ingested material than would otherwise occur without any intervention.
Safe Worm Foods
+Apple Cider Vinegar - Add about a tablespoon to the worm's food dish
+Bananas - Feed whole banana peeled or cut into bite-sized pieces
+Carrots - Consider adding carrots as a treat, but remember that they can be hard on your nightcrawlers' digestive systems and should not be given more than once every two weeks. If you do give them, remove any large pieces of peelings before feeding them to the worms because these are tough for even healthy worms to digest.
+Cucumber(s) - Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, then provide either one side at a time or quarter each cucumber slice and give an entire piece per day; avoid peeling! Cucumbers contain essential nutrients like Vitamin K, which can help worms to live healthy lives.
+Dried Fruit - Add one tablespoon of dried fruit per worm to their food dish; this is just for an occasional treat, not as the primary component in your worm's diet! Dried fruit provides sugar and can lead to obesity in worms, which isn't good for them or you. Also, remember that raisins are toxic because they contain sulfur dioxide (SO₂). They should also never be fed with lettuce leaves from home gardens because of pesticides used on some produce like grapes grown near homes.
- Chocolate - NEVER feed chocolate! It contains high amounts of caffeine and could kill your nightcrawlers if consumed often enough or even once, so please don't risk it.
Nightcrawlers have a pretty significant diet available to them. However, these unique creatures can thrive on various foods, so don't worry about finding the perfect diet for them. The important thing is to do your research and homework on these creatures and then get started! Once you've done this, you can sooner than start to reap the benefits that nightcrawlers can provide for your garden, yard, and flowers!