Insects or Mold In My Worm Bin?

Posted on Apr 19 2010 - 3:14am by Mike Lieberman

Now that I’ve arrived in Los Angeles, along with my worms, I’m starting to get the hand of this worm composting thing.

The Worm Factory 360 is definitely performing much better than the bins that I had built and killed all my worms with. Though in checking in on them, I’ve noticed that there are little white dots on the food scraps.

There seems to be insects, but could possibly be mold as well. I tried to take a decent pic of it above and capture it on video, but they are mad small and hard to get into focus.

I assume if it’s mold that it’s ok since it’s old food and that’s what it does. My concern is that if it is indeed insects – What kind are they? Will they provide problems for the compost? For now the worms are alive and over a month old. This is the longest that they’ve lasted for me. So unless the white dots kill em, I won’t be too concerned.

Any thoughts?


12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jamie April 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm -

    I get the same thing in mine. They're insects. You'll get a whole lot of little bugs and I'm not really sure what they are. At one point it got pretty bad and they were crawling all over the inside and out of my bins. As long as you keep a good food to brown ratio going and your bin isn't too acidic I think you're probably ok. I have bugs in mine now, which is fine, but I think they got out of control when my bin got too moist and too much food.

  2. Mike Lieberman April 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm -

    I keep forgetting that bugs aren't always bad and are just part of the cycle. As long as they don't get too crazy, I'm good. I've added some more paper and leaves to hopefully balance out the moisture.

  3. Christina DuBois April 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm -

    They look like mites. It is a very common thing in worm bins. They aren't harmful to your worms and actually help them break down the food in the bin. Just keep an eye on it.

  4. Colleen Vanderlinden April 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm -

    Congrats — that's the way your bin should look! They are mites and they're excellent decomposers. They don't harm the worms unless the population of mites gets totally out of control, which I've never had happen. If it looks like there are too many in there to you, you can always remove the topmost layer of bedding, because that's where most of them live. But in general, it means you have a good, healthy bin that isn't too dry, too wet, or too acidic — perfect.

  5. Mike Lieberman April 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm -

    Nice. Thanks Christina. Just tossed in some fresh food scraps and bedding.

  6. Mike Lieberman April 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm -

    Hey looks like I finally got it right. Must've been the bin that I was using before that was so screwed up. This bin is working well.

  7. Britishundercover June 10, 2010 at 2:00 am -

    Hey There!
    How are the worms? I'm 10 days in to my first worm bin – a different model of the worm factory – and first noticed mold specks and tonight a flurry of the little white bugs. Hoping they are indeed a-ok.

  8. Mike Lieberman June 10, 2010 at 2:57 am -

    Yes the worms and the bin are indeed ok. The little specks are just helping to break down the compost. Good luck with your composting.

  9. Britishundercover June 10, 2010 at 3:19 am -

    Thanks so much! You too!

  10. Alicia November 17, 2010 at 1:49 am -

    Thanks. I noticed those little round things in my bind and was worried I had too many insects. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but then I noticed they were moving. I closed the bind so fast because my daughter is afraid of insects and I worried they might get out but if they are there to help decompose, I assume they will stay in the bind!

  11. June 15, 2011 at 9:13 am -

    Those look like mites.

  12. Mike Lieberman June 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm -

    Thanks. They didn’t cause any harm or at least appear to. So all good.

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