10 Creepy Crawly Worm Facts
Halloween is right around the corner and we couldn’t think of a better time to share some creepy crawly worm facts. If you’re like many people, the thought of touching a worm can cause your skin to crawl. However here at Composting with Red Worms, they are like a member of the family. We answer 10 of the most commonly asked worm questions, along with some fun Halloween worm facts.
Let’s not waste any more time and dive into 10 creepy crawly worm facts (that may or may not impress your friends).
1) Redworms prefer to live in a colony.
It is common after feeding for worms to pool together in clumps. Mid feeding it is possible to pull out a handful of worms that looks like this:
2) Redworms do not have eyes.
Instead, they have light receptors. This means that they can tell the difference between being in the light and being in the dark. Sometimes worms will become disoriented in their compost bin and try to escape. Simply leaving the lid off, and exposing the worms to the light, encourages them to burrow back into the compost.
3) Redworms do not have teeth
Worms instead have a mouth, near their anterior (top) end. This is the side that is closest to their thicker banded area. They take compost into their mouth and use grit saved in their gizzard to help grind up the food.
4) Redworms can consume their weight in food daily
In the right conditions, a pound of red worms can consume a pound of organic matter daily. The right conditions for a red worm are a damp, but not a wet environment, a pH balance of 7, and a temperature of 75 degrees. Worms can’t surive in bedding that freezes or rises above 85ºF.
5) Worms breath through their skin
Worms do not have lungs but use skin covered in mucus to absorb oxygen. It is important that the worm stays moist. If the worm drys out, it is unable to breathe and it will die. After a rainfall, you will see more worms on the surface. This because the dirt is too saturated with water and they cannot breathe and can die. Worms need to maintain a balance of staying in damp places, without drying out or drowning.
6) Worms are covered in little bristles
While worms like slimy, you would never know they are covered with millions of tiny bristles called setae. Setae help the worm move and identify where they are in an environment. Worms also use their strong muscular bodies to crawl through the soil.
7) Worms can grow their tail back
Many people wonder if you cut a worm in half, will it grow back the other part. The answer yes and no. It really depends on where you cut the worm in half. If you cut a segment off near the middle or head of the worm, it will likely kill the worm. However, if you cut a worm’s tail off it is possible for it to live, and grow that part.
8) The banded area of the worm is called a clitellum
You can tell which side is the head, and which side is the butt, based on where the clitellum is located. Their ‘head’ is located on the side closest to the clitellum. The worm’s reproductive glands are located in the clitellum. That is where they secrete the mucus to make their eggs, called cocoons. On average it takes 20- 25 days for a cocoon to hatch, and 3 baby worms emerge.
9) A single worm has both reproductive organs
Worms reproduce by lining up side by side. However, one worm is facing one direction, and the other worm is in the opposite direction. They line up their clitellum side by side. Each worm sends a packet of sperm to the other worm. This allows them to fertilize their eggs, and produce viable cocoons.
10) A red wiggler can live up to 5 years
In the right conditions, it is possible for a single red worm to live up to 5 years. In nature, worms are exposed to predators and unpredictable living conditions. An indoor worm composting bin can adjust for the perfect moisture, pH, and temperature levels.
There you have it, ten creepy crawly worm facts that may impress or disgust your friends. We hope that you have a happy and safe Halloween. Are there any facts that you would have included in this list? If so, please share your creepy crawly worm facts in the comments below.