Worm bin notes: Fermenting, Lizards & Disappearing Spiders

Part 1

Bins 2 & 3, Update 11. Not sure where to start. Lack of time, loss of memory and blog access has me trying to remember any of the last few weeks I’ve been so busy catching up.

It starts off my not having taken notes on paper or used Notes on my computer.  Not much into Apple so I’m not using or familiar with most of the apps on this computer.  No excuse to not use the one that I like using though.  Lack of time is another issue that I can’t do much about.  Some of the crazy starts with the image below.

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See that?  That is what it was like for me to login and try to update my site. Couldn’t get past it.  Check out Blank Page Mayhem! to find out more on that experience.

Finally able to login, here I sit trying to remember those details I didn’t write down.  Moving from one project to another, I won’t remember, that’s what my notes are for! Have to laugh at that one. Anyway, I’ll do my best.

Bin 2 had signs of worm activity on the walls of the bin and upper lip.  My thought is that the worms were trying to get more food because of the time span between adding waste.  As I was thinking about writing this several memories of similar circumstances makes me think it’s something else.  I suspect the worms are fleeing the fermenting mangos or any fermenting fruit.

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July 20 Mango bin 2

The first time I put mangos in the bins they went in whole.  When checking them several days later I noticed the smell that fermenting fruit makes as soon as I opened the lid.  I also noticed the worms trailings at the sides/top and no worms were visible at the surface.  All I remember thinking at the time was not to put whole skinned fruits/vegetables in without cutting them so the worms could get to them.

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August 9 Mango bin 2

Sometimes mangos were added in whole then opened days later after they’d had a chance to ripen.  That didn’t work as well as cutting them into halves or quarters then placing the fruit onto the soil.  Or letting them set a short time outside the bin until the skins peeled off by hand.  Many of the videos show it.  After I started cutting the fruit I never noticed the fermenting smells.  The last few times I’ve added mangos I sliced down to the pit multiple times without cutting it into pieces to open up the skin and give the worms access.

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August 12, bin 2, sliced mango.

That turned out to be nearly the same as not cutting them.  The fruit fermented and built up gasses under the cardboard covers I use.  I noticed it when I opened the bins for a quick check and didn’t put it in my notes.  Now I think the worms are trying to get away from the gasses building up under the cardboard.  It seems like the fruit goes through a shorter ferment process after its been opened or maybe it doesn’t do it afterward.  I’m not sure how that works.

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August 18, bin 2, sliced mango.

What is clear is how fast the worms consume it after it’s been cut.  Lesson learned, cut the fruit open.

Back to bin 2.  The observation of the worm trails led to the above so that’s covered.  There is also an example of not cutting or opening a mango.  July 20th to August 9th, as can be seen in the video, the worms haven’t accessed the fruit yet.  They’re trying, they don’t until it’s opened and spread around.  Then it goes fast.

Added a salad that had dressing and shrimp.  I removed the shrimp, then spread the salad out to see how the worms would deal with it.  Looks like no problem so far there’s almost nothing left.

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August 9th, bin 2, salad experiment

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August 18th, bin 2, salad experiment

The video started out as one video but it seemed too long so I cut it into two parts.  The first part is little over 8 minutes, only bin 2.  Part 2, 7 minutes, is only bin 3 stuff.  Simple I know but seems like the best idea for now.  Probably change my mind later.  Part 1 is below.

 

 

Part 2

Bin 3 starts with my Aug. 9th check.  I opened the bin and started removing the cardboard, out of I don’t know where a lizard about 4 inches long ran over the top edge of the bin then hid under it.  It was fast I hardly had time to see it but I’m nearly sure it was an anole.  This led to another observation.

On several occasions I’ve opened the bins in the past and noticed that almost all or all of the spiders that had populated the bin would be gone.  Around that same time I’ve also seen lizards around the bins.  I remember for sure a gecko was inside bin 1 before I dumped it and there were no spiders in there again for months after I’d ran the gecko off.  It had cleaned them out.

After a lizard cleans out the spiders it takes a few months before another one finds its way in and starts the process all over.  I think the gecko that was in bin 2 last time had not been in there long because I was looking at the spider population and trying to figure out where to move them when I saw it.  In the future I’ll try to leave the lizard in the bin or put it in another to clean out the spiders if the population is getting uncomfortable.

That’s if I can catch it.  Another thing I’m hoping to address for the videos is how the yellow glove affects the picture as my hand is moving around inside the bin.  It’s amazing how much it can change the picture.  Looks like the lights are getting dimmer then brighter.  It’s too much!  I ordered a black pair of rubber gloves to see if it will help.  More on them in a future blog after I use them.  Almost sure it will make a big difference.

In the past I’ve added sweet pepper cut offs then forgot to check on the progress.  When I remembered to check there wasn’t a trace so I never knew what happened to them.  This time I have a small bunch and a clean area to experiment with.  The before and after pictures show how little interest they have in them throughout decomposition.

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August 9th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

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August 18th, bin 3, sweet pepper experiment.

The worms were spotted around the peppers but never in them. I think the condition of the other waste in the same bin over the same time frame also shows how little interest they had in the peppers. Check out the pictures. It’s like most of it was never there.

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August 9th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

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August 18th, bin 3, usual vegetable waste.

I think if the worms were interested in the peppers, that they would look like what happened to the other waste pile I put in there at the same time. Gone. There were more peppers that were thrown into our outdoor compost.

So it’s, cut the fruit up, ventilation, try the new gloves, lizard spider control services if you can catch them and by all means take notes.  Got it!  Part 2 is below.  -13

 

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