Where to buy red worms in Illinois
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Thankfully, if you want to buy compost worms in Illinois, you’re in luck. 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 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 the leaf litter of your backyard or local park. 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
- It’s free
- Fun and kid-friendly
- You use native worms (releasable back in nature)
- Harms fewer worms in the process
- Includes beneficial bacteria to help your worms get established
Any dirt crumbles that you grab along with the worms can also help jumpstart your worm bin. Soil from the outdoors contains beneficial microbes and bacteria. These helpful soil decomposers will help your worms break down food in your apartment compost bin.
This method is also excellent for kids because it gets them involved in the process. 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 through digesting dead and decomposing plant matter in and on the ground.
More research comes out 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 and 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. Both of these worms live in colonies and compost a lot of 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 for 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 became 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.
- Champaign Urbana
- La Salle Co
- Quad Cities, IA/IL
- Southern Illinois
- St Louis, MO
- Western IL
Other sites like Etsy and eBay are great resources for finding compost worms. To find resources within state limits, start by 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.
Social Media Marketplaces
Next, another great place to buy worms in IL that is an underutilized resource is the social media marketplace. 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!
Here are a few stores that you can check out.
Windy City Worms
Rolling Meadows, IL
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.