Thursday, July 31, 2008

Those unruly worms!

Earlier this month, I was so excited that my vermiculture experiment was going well. I harvested my first batch of black gold and was looking forward to more. However, after harvest, the worms decided to rebel. How can silly little worms rebel, you might ask. Ah, they are wriggly little nippers, I respond.

Prior to worm casting harvest, the worms stayed in their layer of newspaper, consumed cat waste and made nary a peep. Now, I have to chase worms back down to the bed and retrieve them from the collection basin below. Even after a couple days of light treatment (red worms are light phobic and nestle quite nicely in their newspaper bed when exposed to light), they are still making a run for the lid. I have not had this much trouble with the slimy little buggers since I first got them.

Hand-in-hand with the fleeing has been the reduction in eating. I did not anticipate that rearranging their bedding (and their position in the box) would cause them to decide they wanted a different home. Once the worms were settle, they stayed, I thought. They are disabusing me of that crazy notion.

How will I manage? Well, I plan more light exposure and lining the bottom of the upper bedding chamber with sheets of newspaper instead of shredded paper. If that does not work? I will have to accept the chase and retrieve method as a weekly duty. And just when I thought the worms were less trouble than the cats. At least not all of them are running for the outside at once. It's always a few that have to cause trouble, right?

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