Worms are one of the most critical animals for ecosystem maintenance and balance. In the simplest sense, humans could not live without worms.
Check out five of the biggest reasons why worms are very crucial for human survival:
1.) Worms do the “dirty” work.
Worms are tiny creatures with a voracious appetite, and thanks to that, they make the Earth a better place. How? Worms break down organic matter (e.g., fruits, vegetables, shredded cardboard, etc) into a by-product called worm castings or vermicasts, and in doing so, they fertilize the soil with vital nutrients. In fact, worm castings have five times the amount of nitrogen and seven times more phosphorus than ordinary soil, and they provide beneficial biological and fungal feeders that promote plant growth and yield.
This is why keeping a worm compost bin is an absolute win-win situation for you and the environment. A worm compost bin gives you a way to dispose of organic waste while at the same time providing food and habitat for the worms. Ultimately, any soil full of worms is packed with nutrients, making it perfect for use as an organic fertilizer and soil amendment for your garden, lawn, or houseplants.
2.) Worms are nature’s soil engineers.
Worms are at home in the soil. As they burrow and move through it they improve the soil structure, aerating and leaving enough space for water to be drained from the surface and saved in the soil.
According to research, soil without worms is 90% less effective in absorbing water, which can lead to soil erosion and flooding. Aside from that, worms also enhance bio-remediation, the process by which toxic environmental pollutants are broken down and converted into non-toxic molecules.
3.) Worms are excellent indicators of soil health.
Worms do not like living in low-quality soil as they need soil that is moist and has enough organic matter for them to feed on. That is why worms in a worm compost bin or areas where there is a constant supply of organic waste survive much better. Hence, if you’re a farmer or gardener and want to test the health of your soil, the number of worms in the sample is a good barometer of soil health. If you are struggling to maintain the health of your soil, mixing in worm castings from a worm composting bin can boost the nutrients and yield better produce. If the worms in your worm composting bin are not thriving, it could be an indication that the soil in the bin is of low quality and should be replaced.
4.) Worms are an important food source for other species.
Worms are the staple diet of many birds, as well as animals such as hedgehogs, badgers, and frogs. That makes them a significant part of the food chain. Without worms, many other animals that we benefit from would not be here either.
5.) Worms reverse the effects of man-made problems.
Various research has shown that worms are able to combat man-made environmental problems. For example, land contaminated with lead and other heavy metals can be cleaned with the help of worms. Worms also speed up the process of restoring degraded tropical lands. In places where there is less worm diversity, the negative effect of soil erosion, soil fertility, and water drainage is very evident.
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