Where to buy red worms in Illinois

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes



Thankfully, you’re in luck if you want to buy compost worms in Illinois. In today’s article, I’ll share some places in Illinois where you can buy worms, some ways to find local worms online, and brick-and-mortar stores where you can purchase worms.

If you want to skip the hassle, you could always purchase worms from our friends at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm (clicking this link helps support the website, thanks in advance!).

Let’s not waste any time and jump right in.

Where To Purchase Compost Worms In Illinois

Dig In The Dirt (The Free Method)

If you want to start worm composting and don’t have much money, you can dig for your worms. After a rain, you can find red wigglers or blue worms in your backyard or local park leaf litter. Red worms live in the top 6 inches of soil. After the rain, the worms will come to the surface to breathe after significant rainfall.

This is one of my favorite methods because

  1. It’s free
  2. Fun and kid-friendly
  3. You use native worms (releasable back in nature)
  4. Harms fewer worms in the process
  5. Includes beneficial bacteria to help your worms get established

Any dirt crumbles you grab with the worms can help jumpstart your worm bin. Soil from the outdoors contains beneficial microbes and bacteria. These soil decomposers will help your worms break down food in your apartment compost bin.

Illinois has a diverse environment to buy or dig for worms.
Illinois has a wide variety of forests, lakes, and rivers.

This method is also excellent for kids because it gets them involved. You can introduce them to the worm’s natural environment, collect them, and create a worm farm in your apartment. Within a few months, you and your children can sift the worm castings and use them to fertilize your plants.

Check Farm And Garden Supply Businesses

The second option to buy worms in a store in Illinois is to check your local farm and garden store. More people are releasing worms in their gardens or compost bins to improve their soil. Worms aerate the soil and add beneficial microbes and bacteria by digesting dead and decomposing plant matter in and on the ground.

More research about the benefits of worms, soil, and gardening – more farm and garden stores sell worms. In some instances, they sell worms by the thousands. You may want to buy fewer worms in the beginning months. I say this just in case something goes wrong; you don’t kill thousands of worms.

Be sure to call ahead to check that they carry worms, not just worm castings. Worm castings, vermicompost, or the nutrient-rich poop of your worms – but not the worms.

Contact Fishing And Tackle Stores

Finally, one place that many people overlook is the local bait store. People don’t think of this option because they sell worms to catch fish. However, they often sell red and blue worms along with more giant earthworms and nightcrawlers.

When you visit your local bait shop, you will want to ask for red worms, also known as red wigglers, Eisenia fetida, or tiger worms. Another type of worm you could use is a blue worm. These worms live in colonies and compost much food and bedding compared to their size.

Earthworms can compost food but tend not to live in colonies like red worms. Instead, they prefer more space to be happy. Unless you make special considerations for the needs of earthworms, avoid them from your indoor compost bin.

Local Online Red Worm Sellers

Buy Worms In IL On Craigslist, eBay, and Etsy Sellers

Next, let’s talk about some local online resources. Craigslist is a site I often forget about unless I buy a bicycle or sell a used car. In most communities, you can find someone breeding worms or a composting farm that has become overpopulated.

You’d be surprised how many people sell composting worms and vermicompost for extra money. This is a great way to support a local seller. Here are some quick links to buy worms in Illinois on Craigslist.

Other sites like Etsy and eBay are great resources for finding compost worms. To find resources within state limits, start filtering the results by zipcode. If you can’t find anything in your neighborhood, expand the reach by 25 miles at a time until you find a seller.

Composting worms Ebay
Add your zip code to find sellers near you

Click here to check eBay

Click here to check Etsy

Social Media Marketplaces

Next, the social media marketplace is another great place to buy worms in IL, an underutilized resource. Facebook introduced its marketplace feature, allowing people in the same neighborhood to sell, buy and trade household items. These marketplaces are a great place to find someone in your community who vermicomposts or sells worms from their compost bin.



I started this way with an offer of a bag of coffee for compost worms. A composter from across town told me to bring a bucket. They gave me a few shovels of worms from their outdoor compost bin. It was lovely to talk to her about composting and her indoor and outdoor composting journey.

Share the joy of composting and meet someone in your community—a win-win.

Brick and Mortar Worm Stores In Illinois

Sadly, if you want to buy worms from a worm farm in Illinois, you do not have many options. Below I’ve listed the one resource I could find on the web for local worm farmers. If you know a brick-and-mortar business where you can buy worms, please share their information below!

where to buy compost worms in illinois or the windy city chicago

Here are a few stores that you can check out.

Windy City Worms
Rolling Meadows, IL
Erik@windycityworms.com


Add a website

If you know of other websites to directly buy red worms in Illinois, please share them below. Our goal is to make it easier for vermicomposters to get started.