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Getting rid of mites in earthworms.

michael

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I talked to Dan Kazarie about getting rid of mites in earthworm cultures. He recommends adding dolomite or crushed egg shells. What do you think? Will it be safe to dust a little dolomite on my worm bed?

I know about pill bugs but don't have enough to eat the mites.
 
J

jennifer

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Egg shells would certainly be harmless, and I think dolomite would be harmless too. But how do those deter the mites?

I've had mite problems in whiteworm cultures, but never in my earthworm tub. They are probably in there, but kept in check by all the other critters in there (including pill bugs).

Another suggestion is to be sure that you bury the worm food under the bedding. Mites prefer to stay on the surface.
 
A

alan

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I find that mites eventually take over the old cultures. Putting them out in the sun for a few hours so the top dries out (but they don't get too hot) helps, but the only real solution is to start a clean new culture with washed worms.

I add ground eggshells to my worm cultures for calcium and worm digestion, but they don't do anything to help with mite infestation IME.

The other thing you could try is to add some woodlice - Porcellio scaber might eat some of the mtes/eggs.
 

michael

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The dolomite or eggshell is supposed to change the Ph and discourage mite breeding. A few mites don't hurt but I don't want to wind up with them everywhere.
 
A

alan

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As I said, that's the fate of most of my worm cultures. At that stage, it's time to start a new culture.
 
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