African Nightcrawler worms measure 4-8 inches long. They are responsible for improving soil and promoting healthy plants and flowers. They help to increase the amount of air and water that gets into the soil. They also break down organic matter, such as leaves and grass into nutrients that plants can use.
As the New York Times reported, Dr. Norman Arancon, an assistant professor of horticulture at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said: “…soil that has been heavily exposed to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides lacks microbial richness and diversity, qualities that can be restored naturally by adding the microbes from worms.”
In addition to helping create a valuable compost to help plants grow, worms have also been singled out for their ability to break down toxins like cadmium, lead and other heavy metals, helping to detoxify soil. They do this by optimizing the bacterial content of the soil. Worms’ digestive process naturally excretes beneficial microbes into the soil, which drastically alter the soil’s composition
The West-African nightcrawler and brandling worm can be grown in the same bed and are easily distinguished. The nightcrawler has a uniform purple-grey sheen and the posterior segments are evenly tapered to a point. The segments of the brandling worm alternate reddish orange and brown; the posterior segments do not taper, and the final segment is blunt. Experiences with mixed cultures reveal that the brandling worm is more tolerant than the West-African nightcrawler of anoxic conditions (lacking oxygen), becoming dominant if the beds are not turned and aerated regularly. Optimum production of a mixed culture of these earthworms occurs at temperatures between 70 and 85°F (21-29°C). Temperatures less than 60°F (16°C) or greater than 86°F (300°C) for extended periods may be fatal. Temperatures less than 45°F (7°C) or greater than 95°F (35°C) are usually immediately fatal to the West-African nightcrawler.
The West-African nightcrawler grows well at a temperature of 75-85°F (24-29°C). Maximum weight (11 worms per ounce) occurs within 8-10 weeks. Optimal cocoon production is obtained when there are 150 adults per cubic foot (7.5 gallons), and increased mortality due to overcrowding occurs at 300 adults / cubic foot. (or 100 adults per 2.5 gallon bucket) In a 20-week period, one West-African nightcrawler produces an average of 173 offspring. The brandling worm produces about 223 offspring per individual in the same period at 68-77°F (20-25°C).
African Nightcralwers are excellent vermicomposting worms. For almost 2 decades, they have been revitalizing the soil and playing a major role in solid waste management in Southeastern nations, including being one of the main characters of vermicomposting in the Philippines. They are the perfect worms for home vermicomposting and composting more fibrous materials like leaves.
The African Nightcralwer has been a fishing worm favorite because of its size and does not need to be refrigerated like the Canadian Nightcralwer. The West-African nightcrawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) and the brandling worm (Eisenia foetida), also known as the English redworm, have been used in North America as bait worms since the 1940′s.
African Nightcrawlers average 250-275 worms per pound.
LIVE WORM SHIPPING NOTICE:
Worms are shipped every Monday or Tuesday depending on holidays and weather. All orders must be paid for and processed by Saturday to ensure prompt shipping. As worms are living creatures we do everything within our power to ensure safe travel to their destination. This includes holding orders during periods of bad weather (hot and cold). We conditionally guarantee Live Delivery in the continental USA only. For the Live Guarantee to be valid, the worms have to be accepted on the first delivery attempt. Please make sure that someone is at your address to receive the delivery. It may take 24-48 hours for shipped worms to rebound from the shipping experience. If there is a problem with the worms, we request to be notified within 48 hours. Later requests will not be acknowledged. We are not responsible for handling, treatment and conditions out of our control after delivery of worms. As we enter into the higher temperatures of summer and colder temperatures of winter, we are not always able to safely ship the worms due to their perishable nature. The extended forecast is not always reliable and can change quite a bit from day to day. The temperature not only needs to be favorable where you live but along the route the worms will be shipped from as well. Therefore, the exact ship date of your worms will depend upon the reasonable delivery conditions. It is our discretion when we will ship the worms. If you cannot wait until the conditions are right, please let us know so we may issue a prompt refund. Thank you!
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