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The European Night Crawler (Eisenia hortensis) is also known as the
Belgian Worm, Super Red, Carolina Crawlers and Blue Worms. The most
fitting name is "Giant Redworm". They grow to be 3-8 inches long, and are 2
or 3 times bigger than their smaller cousins, the red wigglers. (Please note, these are not Canadian Nightcrawlers and aren't as big as Canadians)
They are an ideal food for aquatic turtles, box turtles, lizards and some snakes
ideal temperature for most worms is between 55 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
European Nightcrawlers can stand temperatures as low as 45 degrees F. Ideal
growth is achieved between 60? and 70? F.
Peat moss and
coconut coir are perfect for bedding. The European Night Crawler prefers
bedding that is moist but not wet. If you squeeze a handful of the bedding
you should produce only a couple of drops. The bedding should be about 6-8"
deep. European Night Crawlers eat a diet rich in garbage and are
great for composting kitchen scraps.
Many feed European Night Crawlers chicken egg laying mash to
ensure proper calcium levels. I prefer to feed calcium rich greens and the
powders offered here. Feed the worms on one side of the bin only. You will
always want to give the worms some room to escape should the bedding become
sour. It is important to top feed these worms so that the feed does not get
mixed into the bedding. Proper Ph in the beds critical. It is best to
keep the pH of your worm bedding between 6.0 and 7.0. To monitor the pH
you will need a decent pH meter, or a chemical pH tester that most garden
centers carry. If the pH becomes too acidic you can raise it with calcium
carbonate (agricultural lime or
powdered limestone ). It is a good idea to sprinkle the
bedding with powdered limestone every few weeks. This will help maintain
the proper pH and increase the calcium content of the worms.
You can create a bin out of anything that will hold bedding, and
allow for drainage. Tubs, Rubbermaid containers, wooden crates, or cement
block beds all make great housing for Europeans. Just be sure to turn the
bedding in whichever container you use every three weeks. Turning the
bedding gives you a chance to see the worms, but is also provides air to
the bedding, which will help reduce harmful acid from being produced.
European Night Crawlers (Eisenia hortensis) are prolific breeders.
Not long after setting up your bin you will see many egg capsules. The
European Night Crawlers will lay eggs near where the food is placed.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 04 January, 2006.