Where to buy red worms in Iowa

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Looking to start vermicomposting and need to buy worms in Iowa? Today I’ll share resources in the state of Iowa where you can find your composting worms. If you want to save yourself the search you could purchase worms from our friends and Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm (clicking this link helps support our website).

The state of Iowa has a few different compost worm sellers. Let’s jump in.

Where To Buy Worms In Iowa

Dig In Leaf Litter (The Free Method)

The first option I want to offer is to just dig and gather your worms from nature. Eisenia fetida or red worms live in the leaf litter and not deep in the soil like an earthworm. After a heavy or all-day rain, check your backyard or local park for worms. It is common for worms to travel to the surface after rain to breathe. You can easily scoop worms off the surface or by digging just a few inches.

This is one of my favorite methods because

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

Any soil that you happen to include in your worm container will also help you jumpstart your bin. Dirt contains beneficial microbes and bacteria. While you don’t want to use this as your sole form of bedding, these helpful soil decomposers will help your worms break down food.

Iowa has a wide variety of fields, lakes, and streams

Contact Bait Stores

If you don’t want to dig for your worms you can always check you local fishing supply store. Just because they don’t advertise compost worms doesn’t mean they don’t carry them.

You are looking for Eisenia fetida, also known as tiger worms, or red worms. These are all different names for the same worm, our friendly compost worm. Another variety that you can use is blue worms.

If you arrive, and they do carry red worms and blue worms, but they are all mixed together, this is okay. Both worms can coexist happily in an apartment vermicompost bin. Both worms are great composters and will produce excellent castings for use on your houseplants or garden.

Check The Garden Nursery

Finally, the last place you can check is the local farm and garden nursery. As more people learn about the benefits of worms and worm castings- more worms are appearing in stores. Worms break down, aerate the soil and feed plants.

For this reason, more stores carry worms for purchase. It is important to call ahead to see check that they carry worms and not worm castings. Worm castings are the same as vermicompost or the nutrient-rich poop of your worms.

Local Online Sellers

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

If you strike out trying to find or buy worms in your own community you can turn online for your search. The goal of today’s article is to provide places to buy worms in Iowa and not huge international sellers. Craigslist is a great resource for finding composting worms or materials in your own community or nearby.

This is a great way to support a local seller. Here are some quick links to buy worms in Iowa on Craigslist.

If you would like your worms mailed to you, you can always check outlets like eBay or Etsy. Both websites offer you the option to filter your results by location. You can enter your zipcode and search for resources within 25 miles or less. If you can’t find any worms for sale near you expand your search and try again.

Composting worms Ebay
Add your zipcode to find sellers near you

Click here to check eBay

Click here to check Etsy

Social Media Websites

Next, a newer resource that continues to provide excellent results is the social media marketplace. Websites like Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest and more have pages exclusively for buying, selling, and trading within the same community. These are great places to request compost worms or a few shovels from someone’s compost bin.



After a big move, I needed to restart my worm bin and find some new worms. One morning I placed a message on the local marketplace page. By the afternoon a message was in my inbox. She told me to come over to her home and grab a shovel or two of compost from her outdoor bin.

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

Worm Stores In Iowa

If you are looking to start your own worm farm in Iowa and want to find a local brick and mortar worm breeder you’re in luck. Iowa Worm Composting is one resource you can look toward if you want to purchase larger numbers of worms. If you are a Iowa based worm seller, or know of any small local sellers, please leave their information down below.

Here are a few stores that you can check out.


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

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