I started a worm bin at the start of spring (side-by-side style, currently about 1/3 full, red wrigglers). So far, it's working out very well. The worms are happy, there are no vermin, the fruit flies that were there in the first few weeks have gone away, every time I add food there are new baby worms, and the kitchen scraps and cardboard I've been feeding them seem to disappear within a week or so.

The only potential issue is the leachate. I'd like to dilute it and use it as fertilizer, but the surface is always covered in tiny (< 1mm long) gray things. They look like tiny hairs, as though I emptied my electric razor into the pan. If I tilt the pan around they start to jump and wiggle.

I have not been able to find any information on "tiny grey worms" or "tiny grey larvae". I haven't seen an explosion of any type of bugs, so they aren't fly larvae, and my worms seem to be pretty happy, so I don't think it's a parasite falling out of the compost. Until I know what they are, I'm loath to pour it back into the bin for moisture or to add it to my garden.

tiny grey lavae

1 Answer 1


They look a little bit like springtails to me, and that shouldn't be a concern. If you have a closeup of the little things, do they look like this? https://thesquirmfirm.com/little-white-bugs-worm-compost/ If you touch them with a little stick or pour more water on top, do they jump around?

  • That's a good candidate. The macro on my cellphone isn't quite good enough, but they do jump around quite a bit.
    – craigim
    Jul 22, 2020 at 18:52
  • 1
    I was able to look at them with a loupe and that's exactly what they are.
    – craigim
    Jul 27, 2020 at 18:45

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