How to Start a Nightcrawler Farm

by Deborah Lundin
Raising your own nightcrawlers gives you live bait for use at any time.

Raising your own nightcrawlers gives you live bait for use at any time.

There is no more versatile bait when it comes to fishing than nightcrawlers or earthworms. While most tackle shops, bait shops and sporting goods stores sell live worms, creating your own nightcrawler farm is a way to save money and have live bait available whenever you want to head out to the lake for a day of fishing. Having a worm farm also provides a way to compost your food scraps and provide fertilizer for your plants or garden.

Prepare your container in the area you will want your nightcrawler farm to be. If your container is clear, cover it with newspaper as the worms prefer to be in the dark. Your worm farm will need to be in a location where the temperature remains between 40 and 85 degrees and out of direct sunlight.

Moisten the shredded newspaper with a small amount of water. You want the newspaper to be damp but not soaked. Place it into your container, add in the potting soil and crushed egg shells, and mix them together.

Place your worms inside the new farm and feed them with food scraps such as fruit and vegetables, bread and pasta. Avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits. The worms eat about half of their body weight each day, so feed an amount based on your population.

Toss the bedding lightly each week to help circulate oxygen in the soil. Lightly spray it with water to keep it moist.

Remove about one-third of the soil every two weeks from the top and use as it fertilizer. Replace with new soil and crushed egg shell mixture.

Remove worms as needed for fishing. Within in about two to three weeks you will see new worms being born and your population increasing. You can remove them for your personal use of even sell them to friends.

Items you will need

  • A container at least 7 by 9 by 14 inches
  • Worms
  • Shredded black and white ink newspaper
  • Soil
  • Crushed cooked egg shells
  • Food scraps

Warnings

  • Do not over feed the worms, as this can cause mold on the food. If you see pieces of food develop mold, remove them.
  • Do not feed meat to your worms. This will cause odor and attract bugs.

About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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