Or I should say, in nearly all cases, no.
There are 2700 species of earthworms in the world and only about 4 of them of them are good vermicomposters. They are:
- eisenia fetida*, aka red wigglers, tiger worms, manure worms
- eisenia hortensis*, aka European nightcrawlers
- perionyx excavatus, aka Indian blue worms
- eudrilus eugeniae, aka African nightcrawlers
*these two are the species adaptable to the most varied environments. The others are suited well to tropical environments.
Composting worms, especially the top 3 above, are the oddball worms that don’t like dirt. If you find them in nature, you won’t find them in the kind of soil they’ll have to burrow in. They’ll be in loosely-compacted environments like leaf litter and the detritus on the forest floor.
On the flip side, this is also why you generally can’t just toss your composting worms in your garden and expect them to thrive. I’ll admit that words like “generally” are kind of weaselly, but it’s very possible that you can introduce composting worms to your garden
- IF it is very loosely compacted
- AND you don’t experience any extreme temperatures where you live
- AND your garden stays moist without any drainage issues.(But who actually lives in a paradise like this?)
If you’re new to vermicomposting, check out my Guide to Getting Started with Vermicomposting. It’s got the bare minimum of what you need to get off on the right foot today.
If you’re not new to vermicomposting and vermiculture and you’re interested in how to ethically make money in this growing industry, I highly recommend the Worm Farming Alliance, run by my friend, Bentley Christie. Get access to some of the smartest worm heads around!