Vermicomposting is an effective and efficient way to composting organic waste and is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. With vermicomposting, you can turn goodies like paper, vegetable and fruit scraps, and even cardboard into nutrient rich soil. While there are many different types of worms used for vermicomposting, not all of them are ideal for the job. The two most popular choices for vermicomposting are red worms (red wigglers) and African night crawlers.
Red worms, or red wigglers, are the most popular worms for vermicomposting. Red wigglers are small, reddish in color, and grow up to 2 inches in length. They are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, flourishing in temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wigglers consume on average half of their body weight in food per day. They have short lifespans, living an average of one to two years. Red worms are considered the best choice for vermicomposting because they are easy to manage and require minimal maintenance.
African nightcrawlers are the second most popular choice for vermicomposting. African nightcrawlers are larger, growing up to 4 inches in length, and range in colour from brown to black. These worms are tougher than red worms and can withstand colder temperatures, ranging from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. African night crawlers have a longer lifespan than red wigglers, living up to five years. They may consume slightly more food than red worms, 1–2 times their body weight per day. African night crawlers are the best choice for vermicomposting if you live in a colder climate.
When deciding which earthworm is the best for vermicomposting, it really depends on your climate and personal preferences. Both red worms and African nightcrawlers are excellent for vermicomposting as long as you provide the right environment and sufficient food. However, many die hard composters prefer red worms as they are easier to manage and require less maintenance. So if you are looking to get started with vermicomposting, red worms are your best bet.