How do red worms reproduce?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Knowing how red worms reproduce can help you increase the population of your worm bin. The more worms in your bin, the more waste gets consumed and turned into nutrient-rich castings.

How do red worms reproduce?

One of the coolest things about red worms is how they reproduce. Generally speaking, one worm will line up with another worm. Both worms secrete a mucus called albumin so one worm can provide the other and the sperm. As each worm wriggles away from the exchange, the mucus turns into a cocoon. We talk a little more about the cocoons down below.

How long do composting worms live?

According to Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, the lifespan of a common redworm is 4-5 years. This is likely under good conditions. I was unable to find any research that could provide age approximations of ‘wild worms.’ If you know about this research, please place a link in the comments below.

Many people worry that since their worms reproduce so often, their small apartment bin will become overrun with worms. There is no reason to worry. A small bin can house a large number of worms, but they will self-regulate their population. If they are running out of space, they will reproduce less often unless conditions change.

Do worms lay eggs

Redworms create a cocoon after mating. This cocoon often takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks to mature. In good conditions, you can expect cocoons to hatch every 3 weeks. It is common for 6 worms to hatch from a single cocoon! How cool is that!

Baby worms are often white and only half an inch long. Within a matter of hours or days, your worm will turn red and start on its road to maturity. Roughly, it takes 60 days for your worm to reach maturity and can reproduce every 60 days from that point forward.

Want to share a fact?

Be sure to leave a comment below with your best composting worm facts. I’m always looking for new research, tips, or tricks to improve my vermicomposting.

Happy composting!

R. Redworm