The composting worms are escaping! I came downstairs to work on separating the worms by scooping the compost off the top of the hill. I guess my “hill” was getting too small and the worms were escaping to look for a better environment. I found a few worms had escaped and were starting to dry up. Some were more dry than others. I tried to save them by squirting them with water to rehydrate them. There were five escapees and three of them were revived. It took awhile before they started moving again.
Composting Worms Escaping As I Separated Them
I was using the hill and light method to separate the worms. You make a pile of finished worm compost with a pointy top just like a hill. Then you shine a bright light on it which forces the worms to burrow towards the base of the hill. After a while you can scoop off the top of the hill and it will be practically worm-free. Then you keep repeating this process until all the worms are clustered at the bottom of the hill with barely any compost left. You can see in the above picture all the worms clustered together. I left the last bit a little too long and some worms started venturing out looking for better living conditions.
This is one method of separating out worms. It is somewhat time consuming because you have to keep coming back and taking the top of the compost off. Then you have to form a new hill. See for more information on separating worms and creating a rich, dark brown crumbly compost.
Worms Stay Put When the Conditions Are Favorable
One thing to remember is that if the worms are trying to escape, it means that something in their environment is not right. Either it is too dry, too hot or too crowded. It is a sign that you need to do something to fix their environment. If they are happy they stay put in the worm bin.
See YouTube Video on Composting Worms Escaping