Mite or Mite Not
by, Rick Ivik
I have slowly been getting back into the hobby after my move a little over a year ago. Matt Hirvonen has been kind
enough to watch some of my fish and food cultures. I decided to get my grindal worm culture back. Well,
when I got home ,I went to feed them their usual dose of baby food. Was I surprised when I opened the lid.
No, I didn't start gagging from the stench! I saw an invader in the culture. It was a ladybug. I called
Matt and told him about it and of course he laughed at me. He said "I put it in there". Well, Matt
has been known to do some weird things. For instance he has a cookbook called "Unmentionable Cuisine".
Instead of the usual cookbook headings like poultry, seafood, beef, this book has headings like amphibians,
rodents, and reptiles . Putting ladybugs in worm boxes? I had to know more. When I asked why, he
asked "do you see any of those brown mites in the culture?" He was right! There were very few
of the little pests in the culture. Yet the worms seem to be doing fine. My theory is as long as there are mites,
the worms won't suffer. As soon as there are no more mites either the ladybug will croak or it will start eating the worms.
I would be curious to know if any other members have tried this and what kind of success did you have?
It makes perfect sense, since we put the ladybugs in our gardens to take care of pests. I did find out one thing
though. Do not leave the lid off for any amount of time. I did and my ladybug took off. Remember,
they have wings! I will have to capture another one to take care of my "garden" ...