Feeding Worms Rice | How to Avoid Ants, Mice and Rats in Your Worm Bin

You can safely put rice in worm farms or bins to feed them. Only add small amounts of cooked or raw rice and allow the worms to break it down before adding more. Rice can attract ants or mice so cover your worm farm with straw, a worm blanket and a lid to keep them out. Rice will be broken down quickly by worms and turned into worm castings.

It is best to only add small amounts of rice on occasions rather then making it their main meal. If you have a small amount of rice leftover in your rice cooker or on your plate that will be fine.

You can also add raw rice to the worm farm but this will take longer for the worms to break down. Cover the rice with soil or worm castings and make sure you add other food scraps to keep the moisture levels in the worm farm up.

This article will explore how to feed rice to worms including ways to keep ants and mice out and how to get it break down quick.

Tips for feeding worms rice in worm farms

Here are some easy tips to safely feed rice to worms in worm bins or farms. This will help your worms to break down the rice quickly and keep the mice and ants out.

1. Make sure the rice is cool

The first step is to always allow the rice to cool. Adding hot or even warm rice to a worm bin can harm the worms and can cause mold to grow quickly. Cooled rice is also easier to break up into smaller pieces. Once it has cooled and dried out you can break up the rice so it can be thinly sprinkled over the top of the worm farm.

2. Add small amounts of rice

Only add small amounts of rice to your worm farm to prevent white worms, ants or mice from making a home there too. Small amounts of rice can be sprinkled across the worm bin giving the worms more surface area to break it down quicker.

The quicker the worms are able to break down the rice the better. This means that they will get to eat it before any flies, larvae, ants or rodents find it.

Adding small amounts of rice up to once per week is best to keep the balance correct in your worm farm. Too much of any one food type allows other pests to take over and can throw out the balance of bacteria and worms in your bin.

Larger worm farms can break down rice quicker than smaller ones but it is always best to start with 1-2 handfuls of rice and wait for it to break down before adding more.

3. Spread the rice out thinly

Always spread the rice out thinly when adding it to your worm farm. This will allow the worms to reach the rice easier giving them more surface area to eat from. It will also allow soil bacteria to break down the rice. Worms will feed on the soil bacteria and capture the nutrients in their castings.

4. Cover the rice with soil or mulch

Covering the rice after adding it to your worm farm is essential to keep out ants and flies. You can use a small trowel and dig it into the worm castings or simply layer some old potting soil over the top. You can also use straw or sugar cane mulch or fall leaves.

5. Add other food scraps with raw rice

If you are adding small amounts of raw rice to your worm bin it is always best to add some extra food scraps. Choose food scraps that contain a lot of water like watermelon or apple, carrot or cucumber peelings.

These fruit and vegetable scraps will help to add back moisture absorbed by the raw rice and stop the worm farm from drying out.  

How to feed worms raw rice

It is safe to feed worms raw rice. Raw rice can actually absorb water in the worm farm so always add other food scraps at the same time to make sure there is enough moisture. Adding food scraps like fruit and vegetable peelings or watermelon rind will quickly add back any moisture absorbed by the rice.

When adding raw rice to your worm farm, start with small amounts. A small healthy worm farm can break down 1-2 handfuls of raw rice every 2 weeks. Larger worm farms can break down larger amounts but always start small.

Starchy foods like rice do attract rodents like rats and mice more readily than other foods. I like to mix the raw rice through the castings to hide the rice from any pests.

Rice types that are safe for worms

It is safe to feed your worms any type of rice that you have at home. Worms will love brown rice because it will still have the husk adding some extra organic matter for them to break down. See below the list of rice types that are fine for worms.

  • Brown rice
  • White
  • Wild rice
  • Basmati
  • Jasmine
  • Short grain
  • Long grain
  • Par boiled rice
  • Raw rice

Remember to only add small amounts of rice to your worm farm at any one time. Small amounts of leftover rice from your dinner or the last bits of raw rice left in the bag will be fine. Wait for the worms to break down the rice before adding more. This allows you to make sure there is still a balance of water, food scraps, worms and soil bacteria in your bin.

Feeding Worms Rice | Summary

Worm can be fed rice in small amounts in worm bins or worm farms. Start with 1-2 handfuls and layer some soil or straw on top to deter ants and flies. Spread the rice out so the worms have more surface area to eat from to break down the rice quickly. Putting rice in worm bins is safe in small amounts but always keep a tight lid on to keep any rats or mice out.

Happy growing.