How to Vermicompost With Red Wigglers


Red wigglers, or red worms, are used to turn organic kitchen waste into compost. Unlike earthworms and other worm types, red wigglers thrive in the shallow soil and warm temperatures of a worm bin. They also quickly eat kitchen waste, converting it into a rich soil amendment. Worm bins provide the home and container for the composting process. Bins are usually made of wood or plastic and have drainage holes on the bottom. Many are small enough to fit into a corner or in a cabinet.

Step 1

Tear non-glossy newspaper pages into 1-inch-wide strips. Dampen the strips with water until they are as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 2

Fill the worm bin two-thirds full with newspaper strips. Fluff the strips with your hands so they aren't compacted.

Step 3

Place 1 pound of red worms in the bin. Leave the covering off the bin for the first one to two days so the light drives the worms into the bedding and prevents them from attempting to escape.

Step 4

Place ½ pound of kitchen waste in the bin, burying it within the newspaper bedding. Feed the worms every two to four days, or once the food begins disappearing and breaking down. Bury the food in a different area of the bin each time on a rotating basis. Feed worms vegetable scraps and other non-meat, non-dairy food scraps.

Step 5

Harvest the compost once all the newspaper has been broken down and when the contents of the bin resembles soil. Place a bright light over the bin for about 30 minutes to one hour to drive the worms to the bottom of the bin. Scoop the finished compost from the top two-thirds of the bin. Refill the bin with fresh bedding and scraps to begin the composting process again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use insecticide or pesticides near the worm bin, as it may kill the worms.

Things You'll Need

  • Worm bin
  • Newspaper
  • Red wiggler worms
  • Food scraps
  • Light


  • University of Nebraska Extension: Vermicomposting-Composting With Worms
Keywords: red wiggler composting, vermicomposting with worms, worm bin

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.