Temperature Guide for Red Worms
Like every living organism, Red worms also need favorable temperature and a conducive environment where they could survive and perform decomposition functions. Many organisms living in an ecosystem naturally break down the crumbling material by ingesting them into their bodies to provide some valuable nutrients for other living organisms like plants. Red worms categorically placed in detritivores also perform a similar job and contribute significantly to our ecosystem and food production chain. Redworms with other decomposers are considered the caretakers of an ecosystem. Without decomposers, the plant debris and organic matter would keep up piling the nutrients trapped by reducing the supply to the other living organisms on mother earth. Temperature and moisture affect throughout the life cycle of Redworms. They behave differently to varying temperatures during different life stages. Here is a simple guide that could help you to identify and modify worms’ behavior if they are not adaptable to the prevailing temperatures. Other than temperatures, Red worms are also sensitive to foremost instabilities in bedding or media pH, oxygen, and a few toxins that are toxic to humans as well. Red worms could hardly break some of these toxins by utilizing them as food. Otherwise, such toxins may be limiting factors in suppressing the enormous amount of population in your culture.
Toughest Survival Range
First thing first, that Red worms or Red Wiggler Worms can’t survive any temperature that goes beyond 85°F or plunges below 32°F. At both extremes, Red Worms struggle.
Optimum Temperature Range for Red Worms
An ideal temperature for living and thriving of Redworms is between the ranges of 55 to 77°F. Maintaining this temperature can lead to producing approximately 7 pounds of casting per month by 2000 healthy Redworms. The maximum casting one can obtain may be equivalent to half of the body weight in a bin, and they consume biomass equal to half of their body weight, as well. Moreover, the population increase ratio is at a peak in between these temperature ranges. Anyhow, the cocoon incubation period is rapid near the upper-temperature range, i.e., 23 days at 77 °F.
Below Average Temperature
Within this range that starts from below 55°F and drops down to 40°F, Red worms would survive but can’t thrive. It means that they will consume less and produce little casting contrary to the conditions described above. The overall production process also slows down, the incubation period prolongs, and eat little compared to their actual feeding. These conditions drive them deep inside bins in search of moisture and warmth. The process of moving out of composting bins in search of a favorable condition could empty bins if the conditions prevail. If the fluctuations are minor, then it could correct by exposing bins to extra sunlight with the addition of more watery-meals.
This range starts above 77 °F, and upon reaching 90 °F, Red worms stop all metabolic activities. Dehydration occurs, and their survival becomes impossible since they can’t adapt to the rapidly changing temperature and moisture ranges. The same is true for an extremely low temperature, where they need to burn body fats for survival. It is advisable to move composting bins to favorable conditions before things get too worse to survive. Also, see my article on 5 Things to Avoid When You Start Worm Composting in order to keep your worms safe and comfortable!
Red worms are essential to composting and our friends for making this planet favorable for all living organisms. Redworms do their job in collaboration with millions of microbes that recycle and return nutrients for plants that we consume. Taking care and providing them the best adaptable conditions and optimum temperatures could lead to survival for almost five years or more. Worms are subject to very few diseases. Bacteria that are through Red worms’ gut and expelled with their castings are compassionate and not associated with disease infestations.