African Nightcrawlers – A Heat Tolerant Composting Worm

Worm Composting...

“I live in Florida and the ground temperatures get very torrent. I don’t want to air condition a worm bed. I believe there is a worm from Africa that is suitable. What information do you have on a work species that can handle “hot weather?”  Thanks” ~ Carl

Hi Carl –

You’re likely thinking of the African Nightcrawler, Eudrilus eugeniae. It is a highly efficient composting worm, well suited for regions with tropical or subtropical climates. While the academic research (I’ve come across) seems to indicate that they are no more tolerant of high temps than Red Worms, a worm farming friend has told me that they can actually withstand extremely high (100+ F) temps.

That being said, Africans are not without their limitations. They don’t tolerate lower temperatures very well, apparently dying below 50 F, they are a very poor bait worm (which may or may not be an issue for you), and they don’t tend to tolerate handling / disturbance as well as some of the other species.

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  1. Hi Carl,

    I live in a tropical country (Nicaragua) and I Started a worm farming project last year. I am using Eisenia fetida (Also known as the red worm, red wiggler, manure worm, tiger worm, brandling worm), and I found out that they do very well in this climate, given that you take good care of them. You will need to cover them well in the raining season, so there is some structure building (roofing). In the dry season, when it gets very hot: 32ºC – 37ºC they need good shade and to water them more frequently. One important thing, when feeding, is to put thin layers of their well composted food, so there is no chance of high temperatures in the bed.
    One thing I´ve heard about the Africans is that they leave their beds very easily.
    Hope to have helped

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