Worm Farm Reviews

How to Fix Tiny White Bugs and Other Pests in Your Worm Farm

Tiny white bugs in a worm farm

If you’re new to worm farming, you might expect to take the top off your container and see nothing but beautiful wriggling worm bodies. So when you open up your farm and see tiny white bugs and other critters living inside, you might start to panic. Who are the good guys, and the bad guys, in your worm farm, and how can you boot those unwanted tenants out?

Read to find out what these critters could be and whether they’re harmful to have in your worm bin. We’ve also listed some of the other residents you might find living in your worm farm and ways to deal with them. 

So What Are Those Tiny White Bugs In My Worm Bin?

The world that exists under the lid of your worm farm is a fascinating place that is full of life. What may look like a disgusting mass of old, decaying food scraps and organic waste to us is an absolute feast to composting worms and other critters. A well-established worm bin will more than likely contain organisms other than your worms and may even include some tiny white bugs. These organisms are generally not harmful to your worms – in fact, they even assist the worms in decomposing your food scraps. Still, it’s good to know what they could be and what to do to get rid of them.

Tiny White Bug Option 1: Mites

Tiny white bug - mites on food scraps
White mites on food scraps.

It’s almost certain that you’ll find some kind of mite living within your worm farm, but they’re usually not that big of an issue if kept in check. Mites will basically consume any dying or dead material, including worms in your worm farm, and most often, this is enough food to keep them uninterested in the living worms.

When your farm becomes too acidic though, the mite population can boom. They also love moisture, so a farm that is too wet will often have an increase in mite populations, which can cause healthy worms to become a food target. This will generally mean that your worms will move out and seek shelter somewhere else. Not ideal.

To control spider mites, it’s best to keep an eye on the pH and moisture content of your worm farm and make sure it stays within the ideal range for your worms. Your best chance at controlling mite populations is to dry out the contents of your worm bin. Do this by adding more “browns” or carbon-rich materials such as shredded newspaper and cardboard. The brown matter will help to soak up a lot of the extra moisture and help reduce the pH level of your bin. You can also apply some diatomaceous earth over your worm farm, which will kill the mites without affecting the worms. 

Leaving your worm bin uncovered can also help it to dry out, although be careful of other, larger critters getting in if you do this.

Tiny White Bug Option 2: Springtails

Tiny white bug - springtail in a worm bin
A close-up of a springtail in a worm bin.

These tiny little critters probably won’t be the first thing you see inside your worm farm, but if you do happen to spot them, you don’t need to worry. Springtails are tiny (smaller than a pinhead) and are identifiable when they literally spring up when disturbed. The largest they get is around 3/8 inch and are known to love dark, moist areas full of decomposing organic matter. This makes worm bins the perfect place for them thrive, especially if your bin is more on the wet side. Don’t fret though! Springtails are generally harmless, to you, and your worms.

The reason they’re called springtails is due to their forked tail (called a furculum,) that they curl underneath them. In the event that they get startled, or need to escape in a hurry, they extend their tails causing them to leap short distances. Springtails are fine in your worm farm as they help break down organic material in the soil. They’re part of a healthy micro-organism eco-system and are a sign of a healthy worm farm.

To remove them from your worm bin, you can place fruit rinds around your bin and wait for them to begin feasting. Once they’ve congregated on the scraps, simply remove them from your bin. To prevent them from appearing in the first place, add more “browns” to keep the moisture levels under control, the same as for the mites.

Other Critters You May Find In Your Worm Bin


Ants on a leaf

Ants aren’t really a big deal in your worm farm if they’re just scouts looking for and returning a few scraps of food to their nest. They’ll likely just wander around your worm farm and then return home at the end of the day.

Ants become a problem when the only available food source to them is your scraps in the bin. As anyone who has ever watched ants can tell you, a single ant can turn into thousands very quickly. Too many ants in your worm farm can compete with your worms for food and even attack your worms as another source of food if times are tough. 

If you’re experiencing a lot of ants in your bin, try adding more water, as ants don’t like high moisture environments. You can discourage ants from becoming a problem in the first place by burying your food scraps immediately and avoiding overfeeding your worms. Alternatively, if you have a worm bin with legs, simply place a container of water under each leg. This will act as a natural barrier to prevent the ants from climbing up your worm bin.



Maggots are quite common in worm farms and can be a confronting sight the first time you see them. Maggots aren’t a terrible thing within a worm farm, and they can play a role in the decomposition of some foods. Maggots are the larvae of flies, and they will eat rotting organic matter in a worm-like way.

Maggots themselves aren’t a big problem, other than them outcompeting the worms for food. The issue with maggots though is that the environment they prefer is not very friendly to worms. So, if you find maggots, it can be an indication that the environment may not be the most suitable for your worms. Maggots love wet environments. A bit of moisture is needed for the worms to survive, but maggots prefer conditions that are far wetter than what a worm would tolerate.

You can control maggots by watching your moisture levels closely. Keep adding more worm bedding, such as cardboard, coco coir and shredded newspaper to help manage the amount of moisture in the bin. If necessary, hold off on adding too many food scraps that are high in water content, such as cantaloupe and watermelon. To help prevent an infestation further, consider burying your food scraps. Definitely avoid adding any meat or dairy products into your worm bin. Worms can’t process them efficiently and you are guaranteed to get maggots as a result.  


spider in a worm bin

Spiders in your worm farm can be a non-issue, or a very serious problem depending on where you live and how you feel about spiders.

Spiders are predators and feed on smaller insects. If you have other insects inside your worm farm, then you may get spiders living in there too. Like maggots, the spiders themselves aren’t a huge problem to the worm farm. They’ll just happily catch and eat any flies, moths, or other small critters which find their way inside. The problem lies with why the spiders are there in the first place, which is to catch the insects. Worm farms shouldn’t really have too many other insects living inside them unless there are issues. So by default, having spiders might mean that your worm farm conditions are less than ideal for worms.

Now the point about where you live and how you feel about spiders is also important. If you live in a part of the world that has dangerous spiders that like dark moist locations, then you really don’t want these living in your farm. If you have small children helping you with the worm farm, then spiders also aren’t great, as even a little bite from a harmless spider can send a child into a panic very quickly.

To prevent a spider infestation, consider adding strongly scented herb oils like peppermint, cloves and citronella as these products can deter spiders. Keeping your worm farm free of other insects can also remove the sources of food they’re looking for and keep them out of your bin. 

In Summary

Worm farms are complex ecosystems. A good, healthy worm farm shouldn’t have too many other critters living in it, but sometimes there may be a few guests that are just taking advantage of the great food sources you’re providing. By keeping your worm farm conditions ideal for worms, you can cut down most unwanted guests, and keep them away for good. The big one is moisture content. Keep the moisture level of your bin under control by adding more carbon-based materials on a regular basis. Not only will it help give your worms some nice bedding to curl up in, but will keep the acidity of your bin under control and reduce the chances of finding too many unwelcome pests.

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