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Recently I have found fruit fly's in my DIY bins.  Do they hurt my worms?  Is this a bad sign?

Also, I have noticed that several worms still keep crawling around the sides and lid of bin.

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oh yeah understandable. that is y i was a saying that it is not good if they r in the kitchen, but i, myself, would not be to disturbed if there were a few in the basement. there is usually quite an assortment of bugs in my basement anyway actually, not to mention a few flies and that was before the worm bins were there.

After this discussion and all the replys to it, decided to take the lids off for one night.  I added shredded newspaper and peat moss on top, and left the light on all night.

The next day, all fruit flys were gone, and worms buried down into the compost.  Put the lids back on and checked on them today.  Worms were again crawling around the sides of bins, but no fruit flys.  Still concerned why they crawl the lid and sides of bin after 5 weeks>>>>???

Some will always climb the sides.  In my bin it takes something really amazingly delicious to lure every single worm away from climbing, and it's impossible to maintain that level of supreme satisfaction.

I use it as a gauge of how happy they are.  A few wanderers is normal.  If there's a noticeable upswing in the wall climbers, I think about whether I need to do something for them (e.g. add eggshells).

when my worms start climbing up the sides and on the lid. i assume that the bin is to wet and i lay the lid at a diagonal across the top (because i am trying to prevent other crap from falling in it) and/or put a fan (on low) in front of it and/or put more bedding on top. so r we talking about an rm bin? (btw, sry if u already answered that) that is wat i have. i think my next one is going to be wood because the rm bins seem to get so wet. anyway once i leave the lid half off for a while they just all go back down. i have had it happen at least 4x since september and once they got all the way out. is was a mass exodus! i have a thread on it here somewhere. but it started as a trickle and then they started gushing out of there, but they were fine once i dried out the bin some and i also turned it into an FT. i am not sure if the latter helped, but i like the idea alot more than just an rm bin and it will be easier to harvest without disturbing the worms.

I have an RM bin, and when talking about vermicomposting I always unconsciously assume everyone else has the same thing, even though I know that to be false!

A few worms climbing is not significant, I believe; I think they like to explore a little, looking for new food for example.  Climbing the sides in large numbers is, in my opinion, a general sign of dissatisfaction, not a direct comment on wetness.  Wetness does allow them to climb in comfort.  They won't generally climb totally dry surfaces, because dry surfaces are repellent to them.  If the walls are bone dry, they could be dissatisfied with conditions in the bin, but not leave because they can't bear to touch the sides.

Besides, worms overall seem to like it wet.  Reasons for wanting to leave the bin are more likely lack of food, lack of attractive bedding (rotting, but not completely disintegrated), overcrowding, presence of irritating or poisonous chemicals (e.g. ammonia)... the list goes on...

I forgot to mention that over-the-top wetness can still be bad if it leads to excessive anaerobic rot, which can produce harmful byproducts.  Not the wetness that hurts them, but that possible result.

 So how do you tell if the moisture is right?

Well it's subjective, but I try to keep my bin as wet as it can be while still letting the compost "breathe".  Like, I don't want to find compacted wet material at the bottom, too dense to let air in.  Or pools of water, or more than minor sulfur stink from the bottommost VC.

I had over 2 dozen escapees this past week.  Should I dump out my bin, with worms and compost and move to another bin?  Pototao pieces growing sprouts, signes of possible tiny white mites...and possible too much moisture, not too mention a few fruit flys??????

That sounds like a normal new bin.  I recommend not doing anything drastic.  If you think it's too wet, just add some dry bedding.  I don't think starting over is going to help.

with PE's and EH's i have to have a lite. they are wanderers. until really settled in and then only a few will wander off, now the EF's no problem.

yesterday i turned over the bedding in the two temporary tote homes to make sure it was nice and aerobic. several of the EH's started climbing out of the bins in broad daylite. they settled back in and stayed in the bin after i added about 4" of wet shredded cardboard.

worms have no problem climbing up dry bin walls.

make changes slowly

 

Take a handful of bedding, squeeze it.  If a couple drops of water come out, it's just right. If you get more than a couple drops, it's too wet.  If you don't get any, it's too dry.

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