gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

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chickenlicken
Junior Member
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:49 pm

gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by chickenlicken » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:08 pm

This is my first post on this board. I am currently processing the tragedy that just occurred in my worm bin. I have had it for 10 years and many generations since the first handful of worms and I am gutted.

I got back from 2 week holiday on Monday, checked on them quickly, noticed they were trying to escape and looked weirdly thin. I didn't think too much of it - maybe just too wet and hadn't been fed for a while - so added some shredded cardboard and forgot about it.

Then today I went to check on them again and they are all dead and it smells really bad. I looked for any survivors but none.. just lots of flat corpses.

I've had a problem with slugs in the bin and a few weeks ago when there were about 10 big ones in there I took the ill-conceived step of cutting them in half with scissors. It was a truly repulsive activity and I was so distracted that I didn't think about what the slug corpses would do to the balance of the bin. I now think it must have been that... slug revenge.

I really hope some worms escaped... Has anyone else had this experience?

I will need to start again.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:05 am

Hi, sorry to hear your tale, it’s bad enough to find a few dead worms let alone your entire herd.
Sorry I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the slugs, slugs are herbivores (vegetarians) and will only very occasionally have a nibble
On a worm and never on a bin full. I often feed the slugs I find to my worms with no ill effects.
I think it is one of two things, 1) your bin became anaerobic (without oxygen) or 2) could it be your bin got too hot while you were away, due to the heat we have been having. Just before Easter I noticed my bins were getting too hot (up to 30c) and had to move them to a shadier position.

Maybe others will have some ideas
All the best
Willy

chickenlicken
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:49 pm

Re: gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by chickenlicken » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:26 am

Thanks Willy, maybe you are right.

Is there any way to salvage the worm casts in the bin? Or best to discard all and start again?

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by WillyWorm » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:16 pm

You could try leaving them for a while. Worm eggs (cocoons) are very resilient they can survive lots of things that kill off our worms, including much higher temperatures. it’s part of nature’s tactic to ensure continuity.
Just keep the bin damp and in the shade and with luck worms will start to appear in s couple of weeks. You will only have a few worms to start with so if you are in a rush buy/find a small quantity to speed things up (and introduce some new blood)

Willy

chickenlicken
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:49 pm

Re: gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by chickenlicken » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:05 pm

It does still smell very bad.. maybe mix in a lot of cardboard?

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: gutted - worm devastation.. could it be slugs?

Post by WillyWorm » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:33 pm

Yea sorry I should of said leave the lid off and fluff-up the bedding a few times if you have it mix in some dry bedding. A day or so and the smell will return to normal, then replace the lid. When you are turning the bedding look out for worms.

Good luck
Willy

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