Worm bin notes: Mosquito Net Frame

Better late than never?  Over the last few years I’ve had to bring the worm bins into the house due to hurricanes expected to hit our area.  I roll them over a ramp from the porch into the living room where they stay until the danger has past.  Each time the house was infested by spiders within days.  I think they detect air movement and move to those areas then start spinning webs.

After a friend was bitten on the forehead by an unknown species of spider I’ve been reluctant to bring them indoors for fear of someone getting bitten.  There are many species of spider found commonly here in Florida that we frequently encounter.  The bite wound my friend experienced left a scar that cannot be denied.  It’s very concerning to not know what species it was.

spider bite

Unknown species spider bite wound. Florida, USA

With that knowledge I couldn’t put others living here at risk.  After thinking on the topic for a while I came up with the idea to make a PVC pipe frame then cover it with mosquito netting to contain the spiders within the confines of the enclosure.  The PVC pipe should work well for this purpose, it won’t rust, is lightweight and can be put together without fasteners or glue.  That makes the frame collapsible for easy storage and portable.

IMG_5334

I chose mosquito netting made for a bed.  It’s not heavy duty but should work well.  As best as I can tell the netting does not contain any insect repellent that may interfere with or kill the worms.  I’ve seen people buy mosquito netting for outdoor/camping use that killed their insects because the net contained repellent.  I chose this particular net because it completely encloses the space without any openings.  Plus the net was less than $12.00 on Amazon.  An affordable way to experiment.

To construct the frame I used 1/2″ pipe and fittings.  I used 90° elbow tees on the corners, regular tees for support members and legs as well as slip caps to cover and protect the leg ends from damage and insects or wildlife.  All fittings are dry fit so it can be taken apart easily since it won’t be used much.  The cost of the pipe and fittings was $20.94 purchased from Lowes.

frame

I started by measuring the areas I wanted to cover then cut the pipe to size.  Once I cut them I put the frame together.  Once together I cut the top cross-members to fit the frame.  I installed the cross-members without fittings since it would be much easier and give me the ability to move them as necessary.

net2

Net sag.  Lattice may be the solution.

Once I had the netting installed it became obvious that a piece or two of plastic lattice would work well to help support the net to keep it from bridging the moat.  The lattice would allow good air circulation.  I see scraps in trash piles regularly so the next time I spot some I’ll recycle it for the project.

net1

I purchased enough materials to extent the frame for one more bin setup.  If I add another bin I’ll make the extension then.  For now I’ll store the materials until needed.  Overall I’m satisfied with the outcome of the project.  The real test will be to bring the bins inside the house and see what happens with the spiders.  The population of spiders is minimal presently so an experiment at this time is premature.  Total cost for the project was $32.93.   From staging the materials to clean up the project took approximately 40 minutes to complete.  I’ll post an update if I test it or modify the project. -13

Short project video below.

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