The composting process in worm compost is the result of the collaboration of earthworms with a variety of other living things. The food web is like the food web in the ground. The first step are microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. The microorganisms dissolve cell walls and produce a pulp. The earthworms absorb this porridge. Other invertebrates have their own niches and perform important functions in transforming dead cell material into mature compost. That's why they are welcome guests and no cause for panic.
Among the larger organisms, the most prominent are the compost worm, the enchytrums, mites and springtails. They can occur in droves, which is not a problem. For a better understanding we have written for you a short profile to the individual creatures.
Enchytrea are related to the earthworms and are often considered to be rainworm babies but are smaller and whitish to colorless. Together with the earthworms, they utilize plant material and are essential for the composting process.Add paragraph text here.
Mites belong to the arachnids and have 8 legs. In the composter, there are mainly oribatid mites, which decompose organic matter and predatory mites, which eat smaller mites and nematodes (roundworms).
Spring tails are insects. They eat plants, mushrooms and algae as well as fresh and decayed organic material. Because they have teeth, they are also referred to as "shredders" in compost. They play a key role in the formation of humus and thus promote soil fertility.
Fruit flies lay their eggs in fruits (often before you buy them). They get into the composter with the waste. They do not bother the worms, but maybe you. Fruit flies often appear in spurts and there are various ways to get rid of them.
Ants are not harmful in the composter. But can be annoying. They are a sign that the composter is too dry.
Wormup Tip to Ants
Check and adjust the humidity of the composter. A little crumbled laurel helps against the ants. Or, to break the ant trail, put the compost feet into some water, like the moat of a castle.
Thrips: Are not harmful in the composter, but larvae may attack houseplants. Are a sign that the composter is rather moist.
Wormup Tip to Thrips
Check and adjust the humidity of the composter. Sprinkle rock flour on the compost surface in each element. Use predatory mites.
Mourning gnats are not harmful in the composter, but larvae may attack houseplants. Are a sign that the composter is rather moist.
Wormup Tip to Gnats
Check and adjust the humidity of the composter. Sprinkle rock flour on the compost surface in each element. Predatory mites or Solbac.