Frequently Asked Questions
As someone once told us, you don't know what you don't know! We have assembled a list of questions that tend to be asked the most to us. We cannot possibly cover everything on this page, and most of our answers here will be of the quick review type rather than an in-depth discussion. Hopefully your question is covered here. Should you need additional information, or you still have questions, just use the Contact Us form and we will give you a call or send an email to you as quickly as possible.
You can either scroll through the list of questions and answers at your leisure, or you can click one of the questions below, which will take you directly to the corresponding answer in the list below.
Q. What is the history of Decker Worm Sales?
A. Decker Worm Sales was founded in 1998 by Glynn "Bruce" Karber after semi-retiring from business life. Mr. Karber set out to learn everything he could about Earthworms, composting, etc. He did this via his own research, by talking with others, and by trial and error. He called his new business Decker Worm Sales, paying homage to the area he lived in at the time. Shortly after, he launched his fledgling business online and the orders started trickling in for worms, compsosters, related items, and books on the subject.
Over time, his business thrived and he became somewhat of an authority on raising and breeding Earthworms and cultivated many business friendships in his two decades of business, both with others in the business or related businesses, as well as his many customers.
In 2017, Mr. Karber decided it might be time to move on to greener pastures and try out this thing they call retirement. But after about 12 months, the itch returned, and he decided he better scratch it. Thus, Decker Worm Sales was reborn! This time with an all new website, along with a slightly different website address.
In short, Decker Worm Sales is back! This time focusing solely on Earthworms. We hope you enjoy your visit today!
Q: When will my worms be shipped?
A: We normally ship on Mondays. However, there may be exceptions to this, and we'll do our best to inform you of any changes.
Q. How do I place my Earthworm order?
A. Easy! Just click here, select the worm you prefer, and add the amount you desire to your cart and check out. We take all major credit cards, or you may pay by check. We do not take phone orders at this time.
Q: Do you guarantee live delivery?
A: Yes! But with a few caveats.
For homeowners that are home and able to accept immediate delivery, Decker Worm Sales guarantees live delivery of your Earthworms. Simple as that!
If you are not expected to be home to accept delivery, let us know by either using the Contact Us form on this website, or by clicking the 'Add Note Here' section in the shopping cart prior to paying for your order.
Decker Worm Sales cannot be held responsible if USPS delivers your Earthworms in good condition, but they are left in a mailbox or other inhospitable area for an extended time. Please ensure you can receive your Earthworms in a timely manner, or let us know so other arrangements can be made.
Q. How does Decker Worm Sales ship their orders?
A. We ship via US Priority Mail. Packed in damp peat moss in breathable paper bags.
Q: Do you offer discounts for bulk orders?
A: Possibly Yes. Contact us for a quote and we will let you know what is possible (be sure to include order size, and shipping location).
Q. What is a bed run?
A. It is a process of removing the Earthworms from the bed resulting in a batch of varying sizes of worms. It is a more economical way of buying worms versus buying hand selected worms. In general, Decker Worm Sales adheres to hand selecting your worms individually, but this will vary some. If you have any specific question surrounding this, please contact us and we'll happily reply.
Q : What type of worm is right for me?
A: Depends on your needs, your location and the time of year! Are you composting, raising them for fishing? Want to put them directly into the garden? Or maybe you just want to feed your lizard! Please take a look at Earthworm Varieties page to see all four worms that we carry.
Q: What can I feed my worms?
A: Worms will eat anything that ever lived in the plant world (organic strongly preferred) such as leaves, grass, fruit and veggies peels. Other good options are eggshells, aged animal manure, breads, pasta, etc. With that being said, there are a few things you should probably avoid. Meat and dairy are a bad idea since they will start to smell very quickly and attract maggots and other critters you don't want. This topic is addressed in more detail on the Raising Earthworms page as well as the Composting Information page on this website.
Q. What type of bedding is best for Earthworms?
A. Aged horse, cow, rabbit manure. Straw, paper, cardboard, peat moss. The best bedding will consist of 50% rabbit manure and 50% peat moss. Coconut Coir is also a great alternative, especially when using a composting bin.
Q. How much moisture should be in the bedding?
A. Earthworms are mainly surface feeders and it is the top three or four inches of your bin that needs to be at about 80% moisture. At 80%, you can squeeze out a couple of drops of water just like a damp sponge. Find out more details on the Raising Earthworms page on this website.
Q: My worms are trying to escape! What am I doing wrong?
A: You are probably doing 1 of 3 things wrong:
1) Too much food. The worms can only handle so much. If they havn't started to eat what you last fed them, wait until you feed them more.
2) Too much/not enough water. Plastic bins hold moisture very well, most other bins do not. If you have a plastic bin, you probably will never need to add water once you have the bin set up. If you have a wooden bin, or a bin with an open top, you will probably have to add water much more frequently.
3) The worms are just getting settled. If you just received your worms it is natural for some of your worms to try to escape. They are in a strange new habitat and just need time to get used to your home. This should just last a few days. Leave the light on a night or two and they will be much less likely to try to escape, and will tend to burrow more deeply within the worm bin as they don't like light.
Q: My bin smells bad, what am I doing wrong?
A: The bad smell is due to anaerobic bacteria. This means there is not enough air flowing through your bin. This is usually due to the bin being too wet and/or too dense. To fix the problem, leave the lid off the bin and mix in some dry coconut coir, cardboard or paper.
Q: My bin has fruit flies, how can I get rid of them?
A: We have found this particular article to be particularly helpful with ideas for getting rid of fruit flies: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Fruit-Flies
Q: My bin is growing mold, will this harm my worms?
A: No, the worms don't mind the mold at all. It may be a sign that you are feeding your worms too much though. Either take some food out or let the worms catch up. We have heard that puffballs (type of fungus) can release millions of spores which can be harmful to humans, so if you have those, try to get rid of them.
Q. How large is an adult Red Worm? A European Night Crawler?
A Red Worm will be 3 - 4 inches long and be as big around as a typical drinking straw. A European Night Crawler will be 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches long and as big around as a pencil.
Q. How do earthworms reproduce?
A. Earthworms are hermaphroditic, which means that a single earthworm has both male and female reproductive organs. The male reproductive organ is located on the 15th segment of the earthworm and the female reproductive organ is on the clitellum. Earthworms reproduce by lying next to each other head to tail and aligning their male pores with clitellums. A few species of earthworms can reproduce without finding a mate, and populations of these earthworms can grow very fast. Different earthworm species have their clitellum on different segments which means that only earthworms of the same species can align their reproductive organs. After reproducing, immature earthworms are released in “cocoons”, which are hardy capsules that hold the earthworms until they are ready to hatch. When conditions are right, these cocoons open and young earthworms begin to feed and grow.
Q. What are worm castings?
A. Worm castings are the remaining matter from organic material ingested, digested, and expelled by earthworms. In other words, worm manure. Worm castings are richer in nitrogen, phosphates, calcium, and magnesium than chemical fertilizers.
Q. I am using my Earthworms for bait. Should I refrigerate them when I receive them?
A. In general the answer is no. The Earthworms that we carry can last as long as last several weeks on the shelf at room temperature. After your worms arrive, they should be introduced to a worm bed, compost pile, or other suitable environment, allowing them to eat, re-hydrate, and regain their "fat" appearance.
Q. What is the life expectancy of a worm?
A. Believe it or not, quite long! Nightcrawlers can have a life span between six to nine years and have been reported to live up to 20 years! Red worms typically live between two and five years. In general, in captivity, expect your worms to live approx. 3 years.