How to Reduce the Population of Tiny White Worms in A Worm Bin

Add some bread soaked in milk to catch Potworms in a worm farm.
Add some bread soaked in milk to catch Potworms in a worm farm.

Do you have a lot of tiny white worms in your worm bin? Chances are they’re not baby Red Wiggler worms, but a species of worms known as Potworms. The common name Potworms comes from the fact they’re often found in, you guessed it, pot plants! Their scientific name is enchytraeids (in case you’re wondering).

Potworms are a common sight in worm farms. They tend to only show up when things are very wet and acidic, and will flock to fermenting food. So if the conditions in the bin are sour or anaerobic, you could have a serious outbreak of Potworms on your hands.

Are Tiny White Worms Bad for the Worm Farm?

Potworms do no harm in the worm bin. In fact, these tiny white worms are actually quite beneficial to help break down the compost. However if their populations get too high, they will compete for food with Red Wiggler worms.

How to Prevent an Outbreak of Potworms

An explosion of Potworms inhabiting the bin is avoidable through worm farm maintenance. This helps to ensure you have the right conditions for Red Wiggler worms. This includes:

  • Not overfeeding the worms
  • Not adding too many starchy materials (e..g. bread, pasta, rice, oats etc…) all at once
  • Ensuring the worm bin is not too wet or too acidic

How to Reduce the Population of Potworms

The easiest way to reduce Potworm populations is with bread and milk. They will flock to a piece of soaked bread and can be lifted out and destroyed in large batches.

To fix the problem, the worm bin conditions need to become less acidic and a little bit dryer. The tiny white worm population should slowly disappear with the following tweaks:

  • Add more carbon (e.g. cardboard, paper etc…) to soak up some of the moisture
  • Cut back on the nitrogen (e.g. fruit & vegetable scraps)
  • Remove any excess food that is fermenting in the bin
  • Aerate the soil and avoid adding water for a while so that the bin dries out a little
  • Add crushed eggshells or agriculture lime to neutralize the pH levels (acidity)

2 thoughts on “How to Reduce the Population of Tiny White Worms in A Worm Bin

  1. Will the milk soaked bread harm the red worms? If I was to not feed fruit and veg scraps what do I feed them then? I do have a large population of white worms. I still have lots of red worms, thay are breeding very well. I think I may have my liquid compost bin too wet. I spray them with the hose twice a week. Mainly feed them fruit and veg.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Regards
    Karen

    1. I can assure you, one slice of bread soaked in milk will not cause any harm to your worms. There’s no need to hose down your worm farm with water twice a week. On hot days, this can actually be quite dangerous. Water absorbs heat. Also there should be more than enough water in the fruit and vegetable scraps you add. Worms will survive without any new food supply for a week or two. They will find other organic matter such as paper, egg shells etc… to digest.

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