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Red Worms or Red Wigglers
Eisenia Fetida. Fetida is Latin for "to stink". Now, does this mean the redworm smells bad? Lucky for us, these worms are only odoriferous to their predators.
When the worm is startled or senses danger, it squirts this yellow fluid from behind, in hopes of discouraging it's attacker. Apparently is works, for the worm seems very vulnerable indeed, with no other means of defense other than crawling.
A Worm by Any Other Name....
E. fetida is not only known as the redworm. Other monikers of the worm include red wigglers, top feeders, bandlings, and manure worms.In the wild, worms live just below the soil's surface, feeding on decomposing organic matter and manures. They are responsible for the top soil of our planet and life on earth would not exist as we know it without them.
In the garden, you don't have to worry about worms eating your plant's roots or foliage in your garden, they only go for the rotten stuff.
Worms are dependant on microorganisms to start the decomposition process and make digestion possible for them. That's why, when you start your vermicomposting project, you should "inoculate" the worm's bedding with microorganisms.
Red Worms and Composting
Why is the red worm considered the Master Composter? This hardy breed of worm:
- Is readily adaptable to captivity and dietary changes.
- Is more tolerant of temperature extremes than other worms.
- Eats more, reproduces faster and in greater numbers than the "burrowers".
For these reasons, the red worm or red wiggler, Eisenia fetida, is the worm most often recommended for vermicomposting.