Since vermicomposting is based on biological processes and implies living organisms, it also implies an element of unpredictability. Vermicomposting is easy to do. It is most of all a question of balance!!! Fortunately, for each problem that may come up, we have solutions. Generally, it is just a matter of bringing the system back to a balanced state (carbon/nitrogen) that allows it to function well.

Note that adding too much food waste is often a cause of imbalance. This is often how problems of unpleasant odors or fruit flies arise.

It is important to observe and respect the digesting capacity of your vermicomposting system, especially in the starting phase when the quantity of worms is low and not adequate to cope with large amounts of waste. You may have to throw part of your kitchen wastes into the garbage. But even so, you still will have helped reduce the quantity of waste, and your vermicomposting experience will remain positive.

Bad smell

Problem: There is too much food / there are not enough worms
Solution: Reduce food supply long enough for the worms to reproduce.

Smell like ammonia

Problem: There is too much nitrogen-rich matter (green and fresh matter).
Solution: Balance the system by adding carbon-rich matter (newspaper, cardboard boxes, etc.).

smell like sulfur

Problem: Bedding is soaked with water and the bottom of the vermicomposter lacks oxygen.
Solution: Add shredded dry sheets of newspaper to the bottom of the vermicomposter, mix it with the bedding. Half open the lid and reduce food supply for a while.

worm climbing up the sides of the bin

Problem: The substratum is too damp.
Solution: Follow the same procedure as for sulfur odour.

Problem: The substratum is too acid.
Solution: Add dried powdered eggs shells or dolomitic lime. If you have offered a lot of coffee or citrus fruits, you should lime the substratum; use the eggs shells or the dolomitic lime in your starting kit.

fruit flies

Problem: Food exposed to air attracts flies (fruits and sweet waste) and allows them to lay their eggs
on it.

Solution: Always cover waste with carbon-rich material (pieces of paper or cardboard, newspaper, egg carton). If contamination is serious, cover with a 0.39” (1 cm) layer of potting soil or peat, place the basket below the others and go on with your vermicomposting.  


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