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Packing and shipping red wiggler worms

We have had great success with shipping and packaging our worms. This year we have shipped out more than a thousand pounds of worms with only a couple of packages having problems. We did have an issue with worms trying to crawl out of the seams of the bags but we have solved that with new types of bags.

We harvest our worms ahead of time so that they have time to cool before shipping. After the worms have spent some time in air-conditioning and have cooled off we remove all material or substrate from the worms and try and get them “Clean as spaghetti” (Thanks for that saying go to Mr. Jack Brantley) before weighing them. This ensures that our customer is getting a solid pound of worms shipped to them.

The worms can not survive for long though without being in a substrate, aka bedding, so after weighing them we immediately add either peat moss or coconut coir to them and mix them up with it. Mixing them ensures that they are no clumps of worms that would soon run out of oxygen and die. The substrate is a little dryer than the worms would normally prefer, but this has no long term effect upon the worms and helps keep them alive in shipping. If we were to add them back to the bedding or to really wet substrate they would likely perish during shipping. If a worm farmer claims to add his worms back to the original bedding before shipping, be careful as they cannot take heat very well in such a situation.

The weighed out worms and substrate now go into a breathable fabric bag which is heat sealed so that no worms can escape. Boxes are ready and the bottom of the box is filled with a compostable and insulating packing fill. We use a special fiber made from recycled cardboard boxes that we make here on site at Worms Etc. This material has really helped us in preventing the loss of worms during shipping. It keeps the worms cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. Also it helps retain moisture preventing the worms from drying out and also keeps the shipping box sturdy during transit. This along with the heat sealed bags now makes our shipping very safe for the worms.

Included in the box of worms is an instructional sheet that will help you get started composting. An invoice and our business card also hitch a ride in the box.

Views: 524

Tags: Red, red, shipping, wigglers, worms

Comment by brenda b on July 26, 2011 at 7:04pm

excellent info

I hope all will read and try this if they are selling worms. Nothing worse than recieving a big box of dead worms.

Comment by Matthew Wilson on July 26, 2011 at 7:25pm

Thank you, yes a box of dead worms is a big problem. That is why I go through a lot of trouble to prevent it. Its more than just having to reship the worms, but you also have to look at the real possibility of the post office saying that they no longer want to ship them if it happened often. Since the smell is so bad.

 

If you are shipping worms and have more than 1% giving you troubles, even in the summer, you need to change something.

Comment by Michael on July 27, 2011 at 8:27am
They are going to have to be packed well with the usps closing 3,700 post offices.
Comment by Matthew Wilson on July 27, 2011 at 11:28am
I have been thinking of changing to fedex anyhow. If service gets bad I will. Right now they are working out great though.
Comment by Michael on July 27, 2011 at 12:48pm

Just curious but with fedex how would it work if your customer wants it held or sent to the po box?

I'm actually suprised that they haven't done away with Saturday delivery with the money they're losing. After I typed this I checked to see if any were closing in my area, there were none but I did notice that they're considering a five day week. 

Comment by Matthew Wilson on July 27, 2011 at 12:55pm
That is one major reason I don't use them now. Also the cost is a LOT more. From what I understand there has to be a public hearing to close a Post Office, so I doubt that many of the PO will actually be closed. Bureaucracies move slowly.
Comment by Michael on July 27, 2011 at 1:25pm

Probably not but I don't doubt anything here lately with the economy. A business that has been here for 47 years announced they are closing down, the next day another business announces they are closing down.

From what I have read that they are under review and the ones that are chosen to close will be shutdown in 4 to 6 months. There are 6 up for review in Atlanta alone.

Comment by KEITH SHUMAKER on July 27, 2011 at 6:54pm
Its just like the people in D.C. the people on S.S. don't need a rasie like my 89 year old Mom that gets $694.00 dollars a month to live on and has not had a raise in 3 years but they need one and vote them self's one every year I know it must be hard to live on they salaries
Comment by Michael on July 27, 2011 at 7:28pm

Not only from loss from junk mail, the internet has cost them alot. You can most of the bills online for free. I mail in a year what I used to mail in a month.

 

 

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