Composting Worms - Why are they special?

I wanted to start an indoor worm bin after reading about it in The Weekend Homesteader by Anna Hess, but I wondered why I needed to buy special worms – wouldn’t the ones in the garden work? And then I wondered where I could find these special worms?

Have you had the same questions? Well, here are the answers!

Why are composting worms special?
If you are looking at composting worms for an indoor worm bin, you are looking for Red Wigglers. These worms are on the smaller side, only about 1 to 3 inches long, but they eat up your food scraps at an awesome rate! They also don’t dig deep or go exploring much – they like to wiggle together in a colony. This makes them perfect for an under the sink compost bin. These worms can also be used as trout bait.
New worms getting settled in their bin
What about outdoor worms?
You can also make use of Super Red European Night Crawlers for outdoor composting. They grow bigger, at 4 to 5 inches in length, and they are very active travelers. They are the worms that make tunnels everywhere, which is great for aerating your lawn. They can also survive more extreme temperatures outside since they can burrow deeper into the soil than Red Wigglers. Their traveling habit makes them a poor choice for indoor worm bins, as they don’t stay put.

Where do I get them?
I couldn’t find any local source (I’m in Ogden, UT) for composting worms, so I ordered mine online from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Their website is loaded with great “how to” advice for keeping your worms happy and composting. If you sign up for their e-newsletter, you’ll get plenty of great tips and find out when they are having sales. 

Our main worm bin is still going strong; we also have a second bin inside and temporary bins outside in the summer

I bought my worms almost 2 years ago now, and they are still doing great! 

Taylor was less than a year old when we got our worms, but he was a great helper getting the bin ready and he still loves feeding them :)

Here are some random red wiggler worm facts:
- they can eat their weight in a day; meaning 2 pounds of worms can eat 2 pounds of food scraps in a day
- acidic foods are harmful to them; so don’t feed them tomatoes or citrus fruits
- they go into hibernation in temps below 58 F, and they can die off in temps over 85 F
- they can double in number every 90 days

What do you think – do you want to try composting with worms?


  1. Yeah!!
    I love the compost worms.

    Thanks again so much for helping me get set up.

    They're seeming happy and it makes me happy that they are there.

    Maybe they can be good companion creatures too, haha! They remind me of gardening and spring and I think that is good for my mental health.

    Thanks Worms! And thanks Susan! Keeping the garden dreams alive.. 😎


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