My red worms are gone! Vanished! Vamoose!
My red worm compost had been established for three months or longer, and I had hundreds of worms thriving in the perfect situation. Two weeks ago I brought them into the house because the outdoor temperature was in triple digits and I was concerned that the plastic bin I had them in would get too hot on the back porch.
I fed the worms last week as I typically do on Fridays and everything seemed fine. I didn't dig to see how the worms were doing, but when I popped the lid, two soldier flies rushed out. I thought something might be amiss then, but I didn't dig into the layers to see what was going on. Wish I had!
Today I gently stirred the top layer as I added more food and noticed that the food I put in last week was still there. So, I stirred a little deeper and still didn't see any worms. I stirred all the way to the bottom of the bin turning and turning the layers and only found two worms--babies that had probably just arrived from eggs.
Since they can't get out of the snap-tight bin, I assume the worms died, but why? The food I fed them had been stored outdoors and I think it must have developed a bacteria that killed the worms. Either that, or they got a virus from the computer paper I used as bedding--get it? computer virus, worm virus. Not funny, I know, but I hate that I killed a thriving colony of red worms that I paid more than $30 for and had tended so lovingly for all these months.