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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (142,743)
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6/16/11 8:08 P
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WEll I'm going to avoid that freezer route!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
6/16/11 2:03 P

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Thanks for all your input. I really don't think that too much moisture is the problem... the castings and environment in general are moist and crumbly - not soggy. My best guest is that a few came in with either what I fed them OR with some organic compost/soil that I used to start my seeds - they found a great place to order up dinner (the fungus that was part of the worm-bin) and decided to stay. I have moved them out to a shady spot under our deck (lots of good ventilation there and only indirect sunlight). I'll treat them with the bacteria when we return and at least I won't have 5,000,000 new gnats in my house while I'm gone.

I've read that in order to AVOID this problem to not give them fresh food (which I've always done) - instead to either freeze it before feeding OR microwave it. All my worm food now lives in the freezer, so hopefully I won't have to go through this again!

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (142,743)
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6/15/11 10:50 A
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My worm bin thrives under the shade of a large oak and placed against the back of the house when temps are above freezing. Here in IN our temps got into the 90s probably 30 days last summer and yet the worms thrived all summer. In the winter they are moved into the insulated garage and they do fine even when temps drop to 0. They don't eat as much when it is cold.

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
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HANNAHV's Photo HANNAHV SparkPoints: (53,036)
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6/15/11 3:24 A

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I have "rinsed" my worm bin out with good results, just be sure you leave the tap open for all the excess water to drain off. Another way to get things balanced in the bin is to add a handful of Agricultural lime, sprinkle over the top. My worms are kept in an open shed with lost of ventilation, could ventilation be your problem? if so you might want to move them outside for sure.

Good luck and let us know how they are doing.

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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
6/14/11 11:39 P

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I think your worm bin needs more newspaper. This only happens to mine when it gets to wet. Then I shread newspaper or use dried leaves and put worms and casting on a generous bed of dry. I also cover the top with fresh newspaper too. Thats what I use to get rid of the flies. I assume the worms eat the larvae. Good luck.

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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
6/14/11 10:36 P

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I realized way too late that I have an infestation of these little flies/gnats called fungus gnats. They are unlike fruit flies, but just as annoying. I have tried the traps that folks have recommended on worm composting sites (to no avail), have vacuumed them out of the air and off the surface areas (helps, but minimally) and now I've ordered a bacteria that is safe to use in worm bins that will attack the larvae. It makes sense that attacking the larvae is the route I need to take. I am ready. Now - here's the question.

The worm bin is in my basement seed-starting area. Fortunately I have no plants down there now as they'll damage new seedlings (and have I believe). We are going on a week long vacation and if I"m not vacuuming 2X/day, they go nuts. I am afraid that if I don't get the order of bacteria by the time we leave they'll completely take over the basement by the time we return! If I put them under our deck, in the shade, how safe will they be? OUr temps will probably be in the 80's while we're gone, but 90-95 is not unheard of in June here. (Average temps in June are 52-81 degrees). Would you chance putting them outdoors in a protected, fully shaded area?

Right now the worms are incredibly healthy and multiplying. I don't want to come home to dead worms!

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

NELSON MANDELA


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