Red Wigglers (Eisenia Foetida) are a very tolerant and tough type of worm. They are by far the most popular worm used for vermicomposting around the world. Red Wigglers are happiest living in a consistent temperature between 15 to 25C, which makes them the perfect worms to be used in an indoor system. They are prolific breeders- on average, in good conditions, the population will double within 3 months. But the most important fact for worm composting, is that Red Wigglers eat, on average, their own weight in kitchen scraps every two days!
With the purchase of one pound of red worms, after 6 months you can expect to be able to process up to 4 pounds of organic matter in your bin every second to third day! And you should still have enough to go fishing or feed your birds or reptiles!
You will find Red Wigglers under a lot of different names. They are also called Red Worms, Manure Worms and Tiger Worms.
Red Wigglers are hermaphrodites, but they still need to mate to reproduce. Red worms reach sexual maturity at about 3 months and you will see a thicker ring appear on the worm. During mating, liquids are secreted and exchanged between two worms. From there, each worm will be able to reproduce on its own until the surplus of sperm collected is used up.
Red Wigglers lay cocoons every week or two. These cocoons will take around 3 weeks to hatch. The number of worms produced in each of these cocoons seems to be based on a direct connection with the conditions of their habitat (temperature, moisture and food). It’s difficult to have a perfect number, but 3 to 7 worms seems to be a good average number coming from each cocoon. A mature Red Wiggler measures between 2 to 4 inches long.