Worm Composting aka Vermicomposting Video


Vermicomposting is the process by which earthworms or Black Soldier Fly grubs, along with microorganisms, and other decomposers convert organic materials to a soil conditioner called vermicompost. Vermicompost has many benefits for soils, including improvement of soil structure, reducing erosion, increasing soil porosity and moisture-holding capacity, and improving pH of acidic soil. Numerous studies have shown that vermicompost also increases the growth and health of plants, and suppresses plant diseases and pests.

Although Black Soldier Fly grubs and several species of earthworms may be used in vermicomposting, most people use Eisenia fetida (common name: red wiggler). Red Wigglers thrive in warm, moist conditions. They will consume animal manures, food waste, agricultural crop residues, yard trimmings, scrap paper, and other organic byproducts. Vermicomposting can take place anywhere and at any scale – in classrooms, homes, farms, warehouses, etc.

There’s no better way of composting indoors than vermicomposting – letting the worms do the work.  With a little care your worm bin can be odor and gnat free.  There are many styles of bins that can be bought or made yourself, your choice depends on how much material you have to compost on a weekly basis and how much space you have to dedicate to composting.  Here are a few styles to choose from.

Hanging worm bins can hang in a frame, from a shelf in a closet or from rafters in an attic, basement or shed.  The worms continuously move up to the top of the bag where the food is, allowing you to harvest the compost from the opening at the bottom.   The “compost tea” dripping from below the bag can be collected in a small container.

Black Soldier Fly (BSF) grubs are voracious eaters and can compost meat and bones as well as any type of food and yard waste.  Besides the compost that they leave behind, the worms themselves are a valuable food for chickens, hogs, songbirds and fish.   BSF composting is a little more complicated than using Red Wigglers, so we’ve dedicated a whole page to it.  

Click here to learn about BSF composting.

Other Vermicomposting Resources

The Worm Barn at NC State University’s Compost Learning Lab has several styles of home worm bins so composters can check them out before purchasing.