Reduce Landfill Blog Posts

Which worms are best?

Tiger and Red Worms – composting champions

Posted by Angus Stewart

Jan 30

One of the most important things in worm farming is to have the right type of worms. It is thought by scientists that there are literally thousands of different species world-wide yet only two of these are commonly used in worm farms. The tiger worm (Eisenia fetida) and red worm (Lumbricus rubellus) are the ones most commonly used although the two can be confused as they are both predominantly red in colour.

The tiger worm has distinct stripes across its body which usually allows for its easy identification and it is by far the best worm for composting because it multiplies very quickly when given lots of food. Both tiger and red worms thrive in rotting vegetation unlike most other earthworms, and it is this characteristic that makes them so well suited to composting. Most species of earthworms simply tunnel through the earth and eat the soil as well as organic materials and they cannot adapt to concentrated volumes of organic waste. It is sometimes suggested in literature on worm farming that you cannot introduce tiger or red worms into your garden soil. In my experience, if the worms are supplied with an ongoing source of food that is in contact with the soil, they can happily live there by moving constantly between the organic food source and the soil. This can be achieved by burying organic materials such as kitchen scraps or by having athe base of a worm farm in direct contact with the soil. Of course it is entirely feasible to have grow tiger and red worms purely on concentrated organic waste in a worm farm with no soil contact whatsoever.
It should be said that other species of earthworms will generally not thrive in a worm farm as most species appear to need an environment that is not so rich in organic matter. Tiger and red worms are thought to have originated in Europe and have then spread around the world with the European settlers that went to all corners of the globe. Their use in worm farms is rapidly increasing as people are seeing the benefits of vermicomposting, particularly in city environments where the worms are particularly adaptable to the concentrated organic waste streams that are generated there.


  • 03/01 15:50:PM

    Cras hendrerit est ut nisi consectetur lobortis eu in lectus. Vestibulum rhoncus magna eget tortor ornare non placerat justo ultricies.

  • 03/01 16:10:PM

    Cras sit amet elit et mi gravida venenatis. Nam nisl dui, fermentum sed aliquet vitae, lobortis eu justo.

  • 07/01 12:29:PM

    This is a comment

  • 07/01 12:48:PM

    Suspendisse mollis rutrum tortor, et viverra est bibendum blandit.

Have Your Say

  • Comment