How to Raise Bait Earthworms

How to Raise Bait EarthwormsBait earthworms can be raised in just about any waterproof container. If you just want a few worms for your own fishing needs, a small tub can be placed under the kitchen sink. If you're interested in selling your worms or letting them do double duty as compost worms, then use a larger outdoor container, like a kiddie pool. Either way, worms are easy and inexpensive to raise on ordinary dirt and kitchen scraps.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • 100 earthworms
  • Container
  • Dirt
  • Newspaper, leaves or grass clippings
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Nail (optional)
  • Tarp
Step 1
Fill a large container with dirt, about 4 to 8 inches deep. Worms need room to grown and roam--the smallest container suitable to indoor worm farming is a 5 gallon bucket. Larger containers can be used as space allows, or outdoors. If using a container with a lid, use a nail to poke air holes in the lid.
Step 2
Mix in about 1 inch of organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings or black and white shredded newspaper. Don't use color printed sheets for worms, the ink may be toxic.
Step 3
Add water until mixture is damp, but not soggy. Worm bedding should feel like a wrung out sponge.
Step 4
Add worms by sprinkling them on top of the bedding.
Step 5
Feed the worms. Worms can eat about three times their weight in kitchen scraps per week, so calculate the amount of food to give them each week by multiplying the original weight of the worms by three. Use vegetable and fruit scraps, but not meat or dairy scraps. Bury scraps in the dirt to minimize any odors.
Step 6
Add enough water at each feeding to keep worms and bedding damp. Cover worm container with a lid (if using a tube or bucket) or with a layer of burlap. Ideal temperatures for worms are from 60 to 80 degrees. If worms are kept outside, place container in a shaded area.
Step 7
Check on the worms at each feeding to see if they are multiplying. Increase food as worm population grows.
Step 8
Harvest worms and change bedding after two months. To harvest worms, dump the container on a tarp and sort by hand. Larger worms can be removed for bait while smaller worms should be reserved for more breeding. Old bedding can be used as garden compost. Return smaller worms to container with fresh bedding, water and food. After the initial two months, worms can be harvested monthly.

Article Written By Denise Bertacchi

Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.

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