Composting Worms Vs Earthworms: Differences, Benefits, And More

Composting Worms Vs Earthworms: Differences, Benefits, And More

In this article, I’m going to discuss composting worms and earthworms. Most earthworms are composting worms. However, not all composting worms are earthworms. Read on for derailed step by step guide.

Earthworms are burrowing, segmented worms that are necessary for aeration and drainage of the soil, however compost worms are red wiggler worms used in vermicomposting.

Earthworms and other compost worms are both segmented worms that can be required to enhance soil quality by decomposing organic waste. Earthworms are reddish-brown in color and range in length from 14 to 6 inches, whereas compost worms are reddish-purple in color and range in length from 2 to 3 inches.


Earthworms belong to the Oligochaeta family of segmented worms. The fact that earthworms dwell and feed in the soil is their most distinguishing attribute. Their digestive system runs the length of their body, allowing them to consume food up to the weight of their body.

Earthworms are also burrowers, which means they move their food deeper into the soil. As a result, earthworms are unsuitable for vermicomposting. In other words, they are usually located at the bottom of compost bins, and gardeners would have to turn compost regularly to keep materials from rising to the surface.

Earthworms, too, demand damp habitats. They do, nevertheless, play a vital role in aerating and draining soil by creating tunnels within it.

Composting Worms

Red wiggler worms, sometimes known as compost worms, are earthworm species. Red wiggler worms are also known as redworm, brandling worm, panfish worm, trout worm, tiger worm, red Californian earthworm, and other common names. These worms have evolved to survive in rotting plants, compost, and manure. For more details about Composting worms types, read our article about the different types of composting worms.

The fact that red wiggler worms are surface-dwelling is the most essential attribute that makes them the best earthworm for vermicomposting. That is, they move organic material to the surface, decreasing the need for constant mixing. Their high reproductive rates are also advantageous in vermicomposting.

Similarities Between Earthworms And Compost Worms

  1. Both species are Oligochaeta annelids.
  2. They’re segmented worms with a tube-like form.
  3. Both species feed on dead organic materials in the soil.
  4. They also have a coelom and a closed circulation system.
  5. The coelom acts as a hydrostatic skeleton in this situation.
  6. They also have a peripheral neural system and a central nervous system that consists of two ganglia.
  7. Both have clitella, which are broad, lighter-colored bands that enclose the worms’ reproductive organs. During the reproduction process, these are just observable.
  8. Two worms unite their clitellae during reproduction.
  9. They’re also hermaphrodites, so that’s a plus.
  10. They help the soil aerate and drain.

Composting Worms Vs Earthworms

An earthworm is a burrowing annelid worm that dwells in the soil and is useful for aerating, draining, and decomposing organic matter, whereas a compost worm is a red earthworm that is used for composting leftover food and other organic material as well as fishing baits. The major distinction between earthworms and compost worms is thus this.

Significance: More crucially, an earthworm is a segmented worm, whereas a compost worm is a form of earthworm.

Color: Additionally, an earthworm’s color is reddish-brown, whereas a compost worm’s color is reddish-purple. As a result, earthworms and compost worms have a distinct visual distinction.

Length: An earthworm usually measures ¼ to 6 inches in length, while a compost worm measures 2 to 3 inches.

Habitat: In addition, earthworms and compost worms have different habitats. The former appreciate wet soil and thrives in open gardens, but the latter favors warm conditions and is more temperature tolerant.

Habits of Feeding: Additionally, earthworms dig into the soil, whereas compost worms graze on the surface of the soil, making them surface dwellers.

Reproduction Speed: A compost worm reproduces at a slower rate than an earthworm.


Earthworms are soil-dwelling segmented annelids. They have a reddish-brown color and can reach a length of 6 inches. Because they are burrowers, they are also capable of increasing soil quality by enhancing aeration and drainage.

Red wiggler worms, on the other hand, are utilized as compost worms because they live on the surface and reproduce at a faster rate. Earthworms that are reddish-purple are also known as red wigglers.

They are shorter than earthworms in most cases. As a result, the appearance and feeding habits of earthworms and compost worms are the primary distinctions.