Worm bin notes: Heat Wave Continues (Warning graphic image)

Bins 2 & 3, Update 19.  The heat won’t stop.  Although the temperature wasn’t as hot as other days it felt like it was much hotter that it was.  The ambient temperature was 89°F with 61% humidity.  Internal bin temperatures ran from 83.8°F to 83.1°F.  It seems like the fan blowing on the bins has had some effect.  There were no foul odors.  The only smell that seems normal is the light earthy smell.  Looks like most of last weeks waste was consumed.  Otherwise not much to note about the bin conditions.

I had forgotten to put a photo of the pupae that attach to the bin walls after I’ve introduced fruit flies.  If I leave what appears to be undamaged fruit such as mangos out after cutting the larvae seem to appear out of nowhere when there are no visible flies inside the house.  Sure hate to think we’re eating these off the tree with fly larvae already inside.

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I think it was last week after feeding waste I had noticed a new species that must have been introduced by me during a feeding.  I think I’ve had these bins running for a little over 3 years at this point and have never seen them before now.  I have seen them many times in the outdoor compost bins but never took the time to identify them.  Since I can’t figure out where they came from my curiosity is up.

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I thought they looked familiar but am not sure yet.  After looking for answers online I think they may be black solider flies. The website I looked at from Texas A&M directed me to another site that makes me almost sure they’re Hermetia illucens – black solider flies.  I’ll leave them in there and see how it turns out.  I’m thinking of isolating several of them inside the bin for added assurance.  If they hatch out in isolation that should get me the answer I want.

net

I recently ordered a cheap bed mosquito net from Amazon.  My plans are to make a frame from PVC pipe to enclose the bins.  Then cover the frame with the mosquito net.  The frame will allow me to keep the moat from being bridged by the netting.  This is the best idea I can come up with for now.  The worms are surviving in this heat but I’m not sure they are thriving in it.  If this plan works I’ll be able to move them into the air-conditioned house.

arachnid artistic blur bokeh

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We usually bring them in for hurricanes.  By doing this the spiders detect air flow then move out into the house.  I’ve never photographed the webs that show up after a storm but find them everywhere shortly after.  However I’ve been reluctant to bring them in since my friend received a spider bite getting into her van in December of 2017.  The photo below is the bite wound as it was healing.  Unfortunately we were never able to figure out what species spider it was.  There are several commonly found here, it could have been any of them.

spider bite

Why I wear gloves when working in the bins.

She is fortunate to have not been bitten on an eyelid.  With this in mind I can’t risk infesting the house with unknown species that may impact residents of the house.  My plan for the mosquito net would prevent the spiders from getting into the house reducing the possibility of a bite wound.

The bins are a rich source of small insects for the spiders which somehow find their way into the screened in porch.  Since the heat wave I’ve been motivated to get my butt in gear and do something about it so they can be brought in safely.  I’d rather sacrifice the worms than see someone injured.  The next step will be to go to Lowes and pick up the pipe and fittings.  I’ll film a video of how I make them.  The new video is below. -13

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