Where to Buy Worms for Composting

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Recently on the Veggie Gardener Facebook Page, there was a small conversation about worm composting, and worm bins used for creating worm compost. This conversation led to a few questions about worm composting, including where to buy worms at a decent price.

Being curious myself on good resources for composting worms I did a little research to find the best places online to buy worms for composting.

Before we jump into the online worm sellers I came across, let’s talk a bit about what worms are best for composting.

Which Worms Are Best for Composting?

Red Wiggler Worms Are Best for CompostingThere are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands (sorry, I don’t have an actual head count), of different species of worms found on our great planet.

Out of the numerous species, there are just a few that are ideal for creating worm compost.

The one species that is most used for composting purposes is commonly called red wigglers, or red worms.

The Latin name for these useful critters is Eisenia fetida. To make sure you are getting the correct worms, you could ask for the Latin name, although most suppliers may look at you funny if you ask for Eisenia fetida worms.

Keep one thing in mind when purchasing your worms for composting – avoid using Nightcrawlers, or earthworms. They are pretty much the same worm just called different things.

Earthworms do an awesome job of moving through soil aerating it, and supplying castings and beneficial microbes. They aren’t so hot for composting though.

Stick with the red wiggler variety, and you can’t go wrong.

Here are just a few online resources I found that offered the right worms at pretty decent prices.

Where to Buy Worms for Composting

Gardener's Supply Company – Price: $39.95 for a 2lb. Package (about 1,300 – 1,900 worms)

Gardener's Supply offers red wigglers that have received high marks from customers on quality and healthiness of the worms.

Garden's Alive! – Price: $39.95 for over 500 worms; $49.95 for over 1,000 worms

Red Worm Composting – Price: $35.00 for 1lb of red worms

Local Harvest – Price: $24.94 for 1 lb; $44.95 for 2lbs

Uncle Jim's Worm Farm – Price: $16.95 for 500 worms; $17.95 for 1,000 worms

*Tip: You can get Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 1,000 red wigglers for $15.85 on Amazon.com

Check Local Sources to Buy Worms for Composting

If you are unsure about purchasing worms for composting online you can also check with local sources. Some good places to start are local bait shops.

Bait shops sometimes carry red wigglers for use as fishing bait. Make sure to specifically ask for red wigglers, and do not get Nightcrawlers.

Check Google, or The Yellow Pages for worms farms that might be in your area. Ask if you can see the worms in “action” before buying. Check the worm habitat to see if they are well-maintained.

If these options do not pan out check with your local cooperative extension as they will probably have a great list of reputable worm dealers in your area.

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Comments

  1. You said…”Keep one thing in mind when purchasing your worms for composting – avoid using Nightcrawlers, or earthworms. They are pretty much the same worm just called different things.”

    This is not entirely correct. Lumbricus species of nightcrawlers do not make good composting worms. Eisenis hortensis, the European Nightcrawler however makes an excellent composter.

    If you order from Uncle Jim’s through Amazon.com be prepared to wait 2 weeks or longer to get them but they are good worms and no pests included.

    All dealers considered, I believe they all are charging way too much for worms. I know what goes into raising them so they can say what they want. The worm industry is a big rip-off.

    That’s my mind!

    Charlie Little

    • Hi Charlie – thanks so much for your input on the differences between good composting worms. I have ordered from Uncle Jim’s via Amazon without any problems that’s why I recommended them. Yes, composting worms can be a bit expensive that’s why I mentioned bait shops as a possible resource (given they offer the right worms) for gardeners that might be on a tighter budget.

  2. Ouch! We don’t raise worms for resale but have worm beds for producing vermicompost. Sorry that you feel that the worm industry is a rip-off. I also know what it takes to raise worms and produce quality vermicompost. Everything is relative. You can pay $40.00 to sit and watch a sporting event and walk away happy. You can invest in worms and castings and reap the benefits from both for a long time.

  3. Tee,

    I have a lot of worms in areas where I have used compost in the past. Maybe these worms will work for my new compost. How can I tell whether my worms are red wigglers?

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