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admin | Category: What Causes Ed 2016 | 09.01.2014
Since we started this blog in 2012, our most popular post of all time has been How to Compost in Your Apartment, an infographic that breaks down how to start a vermicomposting bin. Since we launched that infographic, we’ve heard from a few beginners who’ve had some questions about their worm bins.
If your bin gets too dry, on the other hand, try spritzing it with water from time to time. Fruit that has already started rotting before being added to your worm bin can cause a fruit fly problem. Also, you can create a fruit fly trap with a bowl of apple cider vinegar and a drop of detergent.
If your worms are trying to escape or have escaped it means they aren’t happy with their environment.
The time it takes to produce worm castings (aka worm poop) depends on your bin environment and number of worms, but in general the bedding should be changed and castings collected every four to six months. This entry was posted in Sustainable Living and tagged compost bin smell, compost fruit flies, composting problems, composting questions, Jen Wendeln, vermicompost, vermicomposting, worm bin, worms. Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs. 10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.
Fruit flies are such a pain to get rid of once they’re in your house but what do you do if your vermicomposting worm bin has fruit flies? I did a bunch of research and asked some other vermicomposters how they get rid of fruit flies in their worm bins.
I eventually discovered three key elements to keep fruit flies out of the worm composting bin while still feeding them fruit and vegetable scraps. I started our worms around the same time frame as you I beleive (Mothers Day weekend here) Mine started off in the unused dinning room and then got relocated to the basement as the days got hotter. As for the fly problem, My solution was self implemented… I have a small spider living in my bin eating the flies! One other thing that happens when you freeze fruits & veggies is their cell walls can rupture.
We occasionally may be given an item to review and share with our readers and host a giveaway. Springtails eat fungus and decaying plant matter…so basically the same things your worms eat.
Hopefully it’s helped more than a few people launch worm bins at home and cut down on food waste going to landfills. So we gathered them in one place and went to an expert for help, experienced gardener and composter Jen Wendeln.
Make sure your worm bin has a dozen or more quarter-inch holes around the bottom or lower sides for proper aeration.

Set the bowl next to your bin, clean out the trap frequently, and add fresh vinegar and detergent to get rid of a fruit fly problem. When it’s time to harvest your castings, move the bin’s contents to one side, add fresh bedding to the other side, and start adding food to the new bedding. If your vermicompost feels damp, spread it out on a plastic sheet or newspaper and let it dry out until it has a crumbly texture and just a little moisture left. Sure we could always keep the worm bin outside, but when the temperatures are in the upper 90’s outside the poor worms will cook in our worm bin. A lot of people keep their worm bins in the house, and quite a few told me they keep them in the kitchen!
I’ve been doing these two things for a couple weeks now and we no longer have issues with fruit flies! I keep a small hand rake by the worm bin so when I feed them I can use it to carefully rake the other materials back and bury the new food. If you tear with the grain of the paper, you will be amazed at how easily it tears in nice uniform strips!
Now that I know how to keep fruit flies out of the worm compost bin we’ve been fruit fly free! These are all great suggestions… but I think I’ll wait until the weather gets cooler before starting one in our basement!
I checked out your post on worms and I’m so amazed that you were able to save it and have all those worms hatch!!!! This is a good thing since it accelerates decomposition and bioavailability of nutrients to the worms. This means that our family receives a small income when our readers make a purchase through one of the affiliate links on our website.
I write about my own personal experiences and the statements I make have not been evaluated by the FDA. Burying the fruit under the worms’ bedding or under a sheet of newspaper helps create a barrier, preventing flies.
So if you created your own bin, again, be sure it has sufficient holes on the bottom or sides. So if they do escape with your worm castings they won’t live that long through colder temperatures. Store it in a cool, dry location in plastic bags or plastic containers with holes poked in them to ensure good air circulation. We thought about putting the worm bin in the shop or barn, but those two places also get pretty warm when the temperatures soar.
We now keep a gallon size plastic bag in the freezer and add produce scraps to it as we have them. The idea behind burying the food is that it keeps it out of reach to any flying insects, like fruit flies, that may happen to sneak into your bin.

For a newbie vermicomposter, trying to figure out if the bin is wet enough or too wet can be tricky.
I miss my worms but until I can solve the fruit fly problem I can’t have them in the house. Any of the products or natural remedies that I mention are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent a disease.
Certain foods like fruits and vegetables high in moisture content can cause excess moisture.
If you have an existing fruit fly problem and you’re able to take your bin outdoors, let it air out and release some of the flies. Presently there is little concern for this species in other areas of the country, so a few escapees won’t do any harm. If stored in an airtight environment, it would kill off your vermicompost’s beneficial organisms. A bunch of folks told me they decided to not feed their worms fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps so they wouldn’t have issues with fruit flies. After the produce is frozen and then thawed, it all starts to turn in to a slimy mess which the worms love even more! I linked your post to my own post about how we saved a frozen worm composting bin my husband found outdoors a few weeks ago. If there are worms left in the vermicompost they will move to the bottom of the pile to escape the sunlight.
If you are concerned about the worms escaping, an easy way to eliminate them from your castings is to put them in a bag and freeze them for a week. When you check the  worm bin and the newspaper is dried out, sprtiz it with water until it is damp again. Adding too much food before the worms are able to digest it can create a wet environment, so make sure you are feeding the worms the right ratio.
If you squeeze the bedding, a few drops of water produced is OK, but it shouldn’t produce more than five drops of water. Scrape off the top layer of the pile and separate the castings from any bedding or leftover food scraps. If the newspaper is soaking wet, it is probably a little too wet in the bin and the lid needs to stay off for a bit. Another comment on this post, from Rachelle, mentioned she put a damp towel over top the worm bin and the fruit flies got caught in it and couldn’t escape.

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