tiny, tiny moving white specks

by cath

Tiny moving off white specks, can't seive out when processing worm tea...what are they please, and are we better off without them? Are they harmful to the garden? Many thanks CP

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Mar 28, 2016
Tiny White Moving Specs in the Worm Bin
by: Pauly

Hello Cath,

Thanks for writing in. I'll do my best to answer based on the info you gave me.

The tiny white moving specs are usually springtails or spider mites. I'm more inclined to think that they're spider mites because you mentioned they were "off-white".

The answer to your question about if they're harmful is, No.

Mites or springtails are not harmful in any way other than if their population gets way out of control they'll pose a nuisance to the worms.

They are also not harmful to a garden as they only feed on dead plant matter & manure.

These are beneficial organisms that like and love some of the same foods that composting worms like. They are more after the nitrogen foods in your bin which is why I always recommend using a mix of 20:1 C:N (carbon to nitrogen) ratio.

This allows your bin to breathe very well and reduces the over-population of unwanted competition. In time you'll also see you worms doing better overall.

Now, when you're harvesting the worm castings to make the aerated worm tea (I'm assuming this is what you're calling the worm tea and not the leachate) set the castings (and only the castings) aside in another breathable but closed container.

You can also allow some worms to remain. This will allow all those unwanted organisms to die off and the worms will continue to feed and process the castings to a more mature state.

Remember, the nitrogen food is what the springtails or spider mites were after so it's no longer a favorable environment.

I mention this a great deal in my book "The Worm Farming Revolution" It really has a lot do do with nature's balance of carbon over nitrogen.

If some readers are not familiar with the difference between worm tea and leachate please follow this link below.

What is worm tea?

Leachate vs worm tea?

And using leachate in your garden from one of my newsletters:

Using Leachate on Your Plants

Thanks for your question Cath.
Keep the Revolution Alive! :)

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