Yes, worms can eat strawberries. Red wigglers and other earthworms both feed off of decaying organic matter, which they can get from vegetation, animals, and of course, fruits and vegetables. Strawberries are perfectly fine for earthworms to eat and will, in fact, be a nice treat for them.
However, if you are planning on using strawberries as feed in your worm farm, then it is essential to know how much worms should consume them, how to turn them into nutritional compost, and what kinds of worms may already be lurking in your strawberries.
Do earthworms like strawberries?
As strawberries as fruits, they are full of vitamins and nutrients that are great for the worms.
Moreover, as worms are known for having a bit of a sweet tooth, they will devour strawberries usually far quicker than any other foodstuffs that they may have in their worm bin or that they may find in the wild.
Can you put strawberries in your worm farm or vermicomposting bin?
Yes, you can put strawberries in your worm farm.
Feeding worms fruit is generally speaking a very good idea. It is an excellent way of dealing with your kitchen waste, will create great worm castings, and will keep your red wigglers very happy.
They will happily eat most kinds of fresh fruits (maybe leftover from your delicious morning smoothies), including fresh peaches, bananas, strawberries, etc.
They will also happily consume rotting fruit like apple cores, potato peels, spoiled fruit, melon rinds, banana peels, etc.
There are, however, certain kinds of food to avoid putting in your worm farm.
The big rule is to avoid fruit with citric acid.
- and even their slightly acidic exteriors, such as orange peels.
Going back to the strawberries, in order to safely feed them to your composting worms, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- The moisture level. In order for your red wrigglers to survive in the worm farm, they need a completely balanced environment.
As they breathe through their skin, their environment must be damp at all times, though never wet, as they could easily suffocate in too much water.
As strawberries are quite moist fruits, you will need to put them in the worm farm with extra bedding to balance out the moisture level.
For good bedding, you could add coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, shredded paper, sawdust, etc.
- Your compost worms’ diet. Although worms love strawberries and will quickly make their way through them, there is no point in filling your kitchen pantries with them.
Instead, they need to be fed the strawberries in manageable portions and with other foodstuffs in order to balance out their diet.
In fact, feeding them strawberries should only be done on a semi-regular basis, as opposed to a daily thing.
Do worms eat strawberry leaves?
Now that you have the answer to the question “Do worms eat strawberries?” the next logical thing to ask is, “Will they eat the organic fruit trimmings, too?”.
Although when buying fruits, we occasionally have to deal with spoiled apples, bruised bananas, and fruit that does not have a very long shelf life, we also have to deal with fruit trimmings on a daily basis.
This kind of waste simply ends up in the kitchen garbage disposal for many of us, but it does not have to!
As it happens, worms love fresh-looking fruit, rotten fruit, and all of the trimmings.
As much as strawberries are among their favorite snacks, worms will happily feed off of the leaves alone once they start to decompose.
The strawberries leaves and trimmings are an excellent food source for worm composition and will provide a succulent treat for your little friends.
Can mealworms eat strawberries?
For those who choose to raise mealworms to later feed to their pets, usually of the reptilian variety, it is essential to know what these insects should eat in order to benefit your pet.
For the most part, mealworms will eat nearly any kind of fruit, and that includes strawberries.
In fact, much like our friends, the earthworms, mealworms will devour the strawberries quickly, even piling on top of one another to get to them!
What are Strawberry Worms?
Across social media, there have been more and more conversations about the insects and larvae that can be found in fruits like strawberries.
Most recently, people have been concerned about the worms that appear to come out of strawberries once they have been submerged for long enough underwater.
So what are these tiny insects?
These tiny worms in strawberries are from a common fruit fly known as the Spotted Wing Drosophila Fly.
The female makes a minuscule hole inside of the strawberry, into which she lays her eggs, making their presence practically unknown. They look like little tiny maggots when they hatch.
Are worms in strawberries harmful?
As these more public discoveries have been made, more and more people are questioning their fruit and are worried about the consequences of consuming this type of larvae in their food.
Well, there’s no need to panic! The chances are that you have consumed quite a few of these insects over time, and here you are!
They are not harmful to humans in the slightest and will only add a little extra protein to your diet.
That being said, it is, of course, always important to thoroughly wash your fruit before eating it.
If it has been locally grown or even in your own home garden, your fruit will be covered with dirt and bacteria that should be washed off carefully.
It could also have small incisions in it where hungry worms have tried to feed or where fruit flies have rested on your compost pile.
If, however, your fruit has been bought from a grocery store, then whether you eat worms or not will not be your only problem.
Washing them thoroughly is even more important to get all of the pesticide residue off of them before making any fresh fruit pies, smoothies, or any of your other favorite dishes.
It’s also important, as studies have found traces of parasite DNA commonly in berries, including strawberries.
This may not be anything to worry about, as the DNA may be from dead or inactive parasites but something to consider nonetheless. Better to be safe than sorry.
Summary – Do Worms Eat Strawberries & Do They Make a Good Addition to Your Worm Bin?
Strawberries and their leaves are an excellent choice of food for worm composting and are considered a “green” choice of feed for your earthworms. This means they are nitrogen-rich.
If you do suddenly have a whole bunch of strawberry waste that you’re adding to your bin or farm, then be aware of the increased nitrogen to carbon ratio.
If you’re worried this may be skewing out of balance too far in favor of nitrogen, then you should think about adding some extra bedding with the strawberries.
Add crushed egg shells, peat moss, shredded paper or grass clippings to address this balance.
pesticide residues in food – https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/pesticide-residues-in-food
Parasites in berries – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002022000041