Worms can eat pasta but it can attract flies, ants and rodents. When adding pasta to your worm farm only add a small amount, cover the food with worm bedding like straw or hay. Worms will eat any organic food matter but carbohydrate based foods need to be added in small amounts.
This article will explore how you can add pasta safely to worm farms to avoid attracting pests and to help your worms to break it down as fast as possible. We will also explore what can happen if pasta is added to worm farms incorrectly.
What can happen if you add too much pasta to worm farms
Pasta is high in carbohydrates so can attract mice, rats or ants if it is not broken down quickly by the worms. Thick layers of pasta can make it difficult to for worms to reach and break down the matter. If this happens the pasta can start to smell, go moldy and soggy.
It is safe to add leftover plain pasta like spaghetti or lasagna sheets. Do not add pasta covered in sauces like cheese, meat or tomato sauce as the high sugar, fat and salt content can go rancid or offset the balance in your worm bin.
How to add pasta to worm bins to avoid smells and pests
Here are my tips to add plain pasta to your worm farm. These key tips will allow you to add small amounts of pasta to your worm bin and allow the worms to break it down quickly.
1. Add pasta it in thin layers
Add small amounts of pasta in thin layers to increase the surface area available for worms and soil bacteria to eat from. Sprinkle the pasta over the top of the worm casting in small amounts. You can cut spaghetti or lasagna sheets into small pieces to make it easier to for the worms to eat.
It is best to only add a thin layer over the top of the worm casting so that there are still gaps. I like to add a mix of food scraps to the worm bin so the worms have a range of food to choose from. This also helps to increase the soil bacteria population which will help to break down the food quicker.
2. Add plain pasta only
It is important to only add plain pasta to your worm farm. Plain pasta without any sauces will be broken down easily by the worms. Sauces that contain meats, cheese or tomato can be high in fat, salt and sugar which will upset the balance in your worm farm.
These foods can also attract ants quickly. It is best to never put meat and dairy into your worm farm because this will cause it to smell quickly.
2. Add small amounts of pasta at a time
When adding pasta to your worm farm only add a small amount at a time. Start with 1 handful of cooked pasta and sprinkle it over the top of the worm farm. After the worms have broken down the first lot of pasta you can add more. This will help you to work out how much your worms can consume.
Different worm farm bins will digest food at different rates. Larger worm bins can break down a lot of food, even pasta. Worms will also break down food quicker in the warmer months. Adjust the food quantity up or down depending on how fast your worms are eating.
3. Cover the pasta with worm bedding
After adding the pasta it is important to cover it with some worm bedding. This will help to prevent ants and flies from being attracted to the worm bin. I like to have a bag of worm bedding nearby to sprinkle on top when I add any food scraps. Buy a compressed bag of sugar cane mulch or straw to make it easy. You can also use fall leaves or compost.
Anything that will cover the pasta will help to prevent pests from coming in and feeding on the pasta.
4. Cover with a worm blanket and a lid
After adding the pasta and worm bedding it is important to cover the whole mix with a worm blanket. You can use a specially made worm blanket that is made from natural fiber. These last for around 6 months and the worms will eventually break them down and turn them into worm castings.
You can also make your own for free from some layers of newspaper or thick cardboard. These work best together, starting with 3-4 layers of newspaper then topping with a piece of cardboard.
After covering the worms with a blanket, it is important to then add a lid to your worm bin. Pasta can attract mice or rats so a tight fitting worm bin lid is essential. Pre-made worm bins will come with a lid that is made to keep mice out while still having enough air holes to allow good air flow.
It is important that any lid has plenty of small air holes so if you make one yourself, make sure that you put some 2-3mm air holes in the top with a drill.
Can red wigglers eat pasta?
Red wigglers are a worm commonly used in worm farms. They break down food scraps quickly and love the dark, moist environments in worm farms. Red wigglers will quickly break down cooked or dry pasta if it is added in small amounts. Cover the pasta with worm bedding and place a lid on top of the bin.
Can I feed worms pasta? | Summary
Worms can be fed small amounts of pasta as long as it is not covered in sauce. It is important to start with 1-2 handfuls of pasta and only add more once your worms eat the first lot. Cover the pasta with some worm bedding and tight fitting lid. I like to add some other food scraps with the pasta to keep the balance and to feed the soil bacteria.
Happy worm farming.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.