- Identify problems in the worm bin
- Describe ways to solve problems in the worm bin
Managing a worm bin is usually logical, straightforward, and predictable…until it isn’t. There are lists of things that you can and cannot put in. There are guides for managing the conditions so that your worms are happy in their home. There are tests to manage moisture and temperature. So what could go wrong?
Well, lots of things can go wrong as a result of both internal and external factors. And when the whole thing jumps off the rails, it’s good to know how to troubleshoot. The main issues revolve around fruit flies, funky smells, and death in the worm ranks. This lesson explores the problems and the solutions.
Of course, it’s always better to take preventative measures than to face the challenge of addressing a bin full of dead worms, a smell that turns your stomach, or a classroom full of pesky fruit flies.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Red Wiggler worms
- Magnifying glasses
- Printouts of Inside the Red Worm
- Fruit flies
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by describing the three main issues that impact worm composting bins and the primary solutions for each.
Activity (20 minutes)
Have the Students evaluate each of the worm bins for the three primary issues: fruit flies, odor, and worm death. They should use their sight, smell, and a little digging to evaluate the material in the worm bin. Magnifying glasses might be useful in detecting insect activity.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What issues, if any, do you think we need to address? How should we remedy the issue? What do you think caused the problem?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you think you have enough knowledge to manage compost worms on your own?
- Now that you know how to remedy the main issues affecting a vermiculture compost bin, how many of you feel more confident in your ability to manage compost worms?
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