I just received a batch of worms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm. Can anyone vouch for them in regards to being free from E-Coli. I've read a lot on this website that has me a bit concerned.
Also, if the E-Coli is only a threat in warm-blooded animals, why would it reproduce in an aquaponics system where the worms and fish are cold blooded? Wouldn't it just die-out. Would it be absorbed by plants such as lettuce? Or is it only transferred by contact i.e. if the lettuce was splashed by the water.
I've heard that redworms are pretty much anti E-Coli themselves. To the point that their slime is said to kill that bacteria. I use them in compost and never had a problem. You can always rinse them in dechlorinated water too. They like more water, than not.
I've ordered worms from Uncle Jim's and they've always been okay. I wouldn't worry about it.
As food passes through a worms gut, a lot of harmful bacteria are removed from the waste and beneficial bacteria are added. I don't think E. Coli is an issue with earthworms. I can vouch for Uncle Jim's Worm Farm as a company, however. I got my redworms from them and they're great (the company and the redworms)!
I too have gotten Uncle Jim's (sorry Sylvia) but he is located less than 2 hours away from my house. But I can say from working in aquaculture the only time we had e-coli issues were when we located mice or rats. We found the rodents drinking from our solids tank and the water tested positive on that station, no other station tested positive. Once it was cleaned and the fish put back into the tank the water was free of e-coli. Mind you only the water tested positive for e-coli and the fish when placed in their nursery tank tested negative. We also had Cornell University test independently and it reaffirmed our findings.
As for worms, if you get e-coli from worms you bought it is 95% from compost bedding that was infected by rodents or other livestock, either through direct contact or via run off that may pass through their bins. Bedding should be dry and clean, even the worms typically should be placed in new bedding when shipped. I did have an order from another company via Home Depot, half the worms were dead and the bedding they shipped in was old and moldy.
On a Uncle Jim side note, if you get the starter kit, go buy another bin. Larger. The one shipped is barely large enough for the worms and adding scraps will over fill and make a nasty mess.
LOL - That's ok, John. WE love Uncle Jim's. We've been shipping for them for 2 1/2 years now with great results. Totally agree with what everyone is saying here.
Thank you everyone. I went ahead and added them to the system and started a small worm bin. I tried to wash them but that didn't go so well so I ended up dumping them in.