As you may know, worms eat any decaying organic matter, that usually stems from what is on the surface or sometimes within the ground.
That mostly means that they eat fruits and vegetables that have gone bad, dead roots/leaves/flowers, etc. It does also mean that they will the bacteria that descends into the soil from dead animals. Yes, that means that worms do eat bugs.
Now, it is important to make a distinction between them eating live insects and dead insects.
Earthworms do not eat living things, but they will happily chow down on anything that is well into its’ decomposition process, including insects.
A more common problem is that worms tend to be a great source of food for other insects and animals.
Should I Get Rid of Bugs in My Worm Composting Bin?
Not necessarily – but you might want to keep a fair balance so your worms get enough food and water.
Indeed, should you be working with your own worm farm, you will want to keep an eye on some of the other living creatures that might just make their way into your worms’ habitat.
Many insects like the same sorts of foods as worms do, including fruits and vegetables, etc, and will think they have found Eden should they come across an area that is full of their favourite foods and a good source of protein, i.e. your worms.
Now, you will most likely have already seen a bird eating an earthworm or feeding it to its offspring, but they will most likely not have an easy access to your worm farm, so they aren’t really your main concern.
Among other larger animals that like to consume earthworms there are:
Now, should your worm bin be planted directly on the soil, then creatures such as moles, may easily be able to access your little friends and have them for dinner.
Other creatures, those that live on land, should they be desperate enough, could also make their way into your worm compost.
So, it is always wise to build or buy a secure worm bin. It truly isn’t just about keeping the worms in, but even more about keeping other things out!
Is it Hard to Keep Bugs Off My Worms and Their Food?
The more difficult creatures to keep out are other insects. For example, certain fly larvae are incredibly dangerous to worms. They make their way into the worm and consume their insides.
Some larger insects are also incredibly dangerous to worms. Beetles are strong and love to feed on worms. Centipedes are also very dangerous and poisonous to earthworms.
There are of course also slugs and certain types of snails that will happily feed on earthworms and they would be indeed attracted to the moisture of the environment of the worm bin, and so would not leave easily.
Now, all hope is not lost and keeping your worms safe- it just takes a bit of vigilance and care. A good way to start is by always mixing in the food scraps with the bedding.
The covering of the smell should keep away flies and other insects, making them less likely to lay their larvae within the worm bin.
Another thing that is important to do is to use your hands and frequently turn over the compost within your worm bin. Do so gently, as to not harm the worms, and take your time.
Really look at the soil, run it through your fingers and just see if there are any obvious insects that could be attacking your worms.
Do worms eat ants?
Worms and ants eat most of the same foodstuffs and you may come across quite a few ants in your worm bin. Should the bin not be overflowing with ants, then there should be no need to worry.
Ants, generally speaking, won’t eat earthworms, unless they are all that is left for them. Earthworms are quite the same. Although they well eat a dead ant, they will not spend anytime bothering a live one.