View Full Version : Tips for keeping night crawlers

horse 'em
05-06-2009, 12:52 PM
Just wanted to get some ideas on how others keep night crawlers. I have an old aquarium in my basement to keep night crawlers on hand. I have tried the worm bedding you can get from Wal-mart and even just dirt from the yard. My questions are: What are other ways that have worked for you on how to keep night crawlers and what you need to feed them? Thanks

05-06-2009, 01:17 PM
Small refrigerator in the garage -
contents = Beer and pop,
one ice block for worm cooler

Only the beer stays home when I go to the lake. The worms last for a really long time when kept cold. No feeding is necessary.


05-06-2009, 01:36 PM
i have to agree about keeping them in the fridge. i have had crawlers last in the fridge for several months without feeding them or doing anything. i always put them in the bottom drawer of the fridge. dont know if that makes a difference or not?

05-06-2009, 04:32 PM
fridge but turn them over every 3 days

05-06-2009, 04:46 PM
Keeping them cool is important, so use the fridge space if you have it. I also agree that you don't have to feed them. What I feel is most important is that, once you wet the worm bedding material, don't water them again. People tend to drown them. Also important, don't use tap water if you have city water or treated water. Use only rain water, pond water or untreated well water. The chemicals kill them.

05-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Hide them in back of refrig! I have kept them up to 90 days.

05-07-2009, 02:31 AM
I have an old Igloo 6 can cooler that I use. I dumped the original dirt that they came in into the cooler then added some compost from my compost pile. Filled the cooler about a third of the way. I store the cooler outside in my backyard, underneath a large Hosta. They get constant shade there and stay cool even in the summer. On really hot days in the summer, I'll throw an ice cube in the cooler. About once a month I dump out all of the worms onto a screen and sift all of the dirt through. Then I refill the cooler with new compost and put the worms back in. Whenever I run low on worms, I'll just pick some up at the baitshop and dump them right in.

I've been doing it for years and it works great. Very rarely do any of the worms die, they are usually quite lively. The only problem I've ever had is when I forgot to latch the lid one time. Something got into the cooler and dumped out all of the dirt and probably ate the worms. I'm guessing racoon.

I Fish
05-07-2009, 12:50 PM
If you collect your own night crawlers, my suggestions are: Get them late at night after a good rain, but make it late enough that they are completely out of their holes, so you don't damage them trying to pull them out.
Next, in the morning, put them on top of the bedding and leave them exposed to light. After an hour or so, any that have not burrowed down should be taken out.
Lastly, check them every 3 or 4 days, and any that have died should be removed. It seems if one is sick, very often they will come to the top before dying. I've been told that one dead worm will kill all of them. Something about a rotting worm poisons the rest of them.
Doing the above, I kept worms in the fridge from the 3rd of last October, and just used the last of them 2 weeks ago.

05-07-2009, 02:48 PM
I put some worms in our fridge last fall. Some of them got out and my wife found them. Boy, I will never do that again.

05-07-2009, 11:11 PM
i had some die once in the fridge and i didnt know till i smelled something funky. long story short NOT happy wife.

05-07-2009, 11:38 PM
i heard that if your ice fishing you should hold them in your mouth to keepem warm they work betta

05-08-2009, 12:12 AM
i heard that if your ice fishing you should hold them in your mouth to keepem warm they work betta

Remind me not to go ice fishing with Slep.;)

05-08-2009, 12:39 AM
I've got a a large styrafoam flat that I use with worm bedding. Since I can't put them in the fridge, I put a 1 gallon zip lock bag full of ice right on top of the bedding and change it every few days. It keeps them super cool.

I snatched 30 dozen spending two hours a night the last two nights. :)

05-08-2009, 03:37 AM
I use a homemade"shocker" if it is not wet enough to get them to come out.Like most folks,bottom of fridge with the bedding.But I throw a couple ground up egg shells and a spoonful of cornmeal in every few weeks,they seem to love it(no coffee grounds).

05-08-2009, 11:37 AM
I keep them in a large styrafoam container in the fridge. I change the worm bedding once a month. I also feed them worm food, I have to feed them every 3 days. Biggest and strongest crawlers you have ever seen and they stay alive indefinitley as long as you keep them cold, fed, and bedding changed.

I am not positive how long they will last as I use them up before long, but I buy them in 500 count at a time.

The Yeti
05-09-2009, 03:36 PM
Keep 'em cool but not frozen. I've kept crawlers for months by cutting up a piece of newspaper into strips and moistening it, then throwing it on top of the dirt. Worms will feed off that forever.

Haven't tried this one but I've heard if you want 'em real lively, mix in a bit of coffee grounds a day or two before you go.

05-09-2009, 03:42 PM
Also, watch the acidity level of the compost. Too much acidity and too much coffee grounds can kill them. Light sprinkle of grounds, moist shredded newspaper and a cool place should be all you need to keep 'em alive for a whole season.

05-10-2009, 11:12 AM
I no longer bait fish, but for the last 15 years or so that I did, all I used was dampened & chilled shredded newspaper. Worms feed off the newsprint & they were always fatter & livelier after a week in that stuff.

05-11-2009, 01:33 PM
I too use old news paper.but here are a few things to do.do not use comics ( color ) part.soak a few hours get the acid they put in print out it.shread it ok.but I first line the bucket with wet paper then throw shreaded in.keep in frig.every so often you need wet it.here is a thing I did believe works best.one day I was fishing and see they was dry and dieing so being a pop holick I put some pop in the bedding.they seam to be way better after that.I think the sugar in pop made them come back alive as ever.just my thinking.I still put a few spoons full in the bucket every so offten.never had any die.but I have lot fat worms.