A-z - Animals

Worm poop? everything you need to know

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Worms are invertebrates with very soft and elongated bodies. They are some of the most invasive species on Earth, including as many as a million different types. The most popular type of worm is the earthworm, and like most other worms, they are hermaphrodites. Besides hermaphrodites, another interesting fact about worms is that they defecate. This is considered an incredible fact by many, as their small, "lifeless" bodies do not seem to retain any food. In this article, we'll discuss worm poop and how it works. let's start.

What does worm droppings look like?

poop bug
Worm droppings look a bit like a small mound of dirt, and they're usually lumpy, brown in color, and have a dirt-like feel to them.


As we mentioned before, many people have a hard time believing that worms actually have excretory systems. So it makes sense to assume that most people have no idea what worm poop looks like. If you're one of those people, you're in luck, because we plan to describe it as vividly as possible.

Since worms themselves are extremely small creatures, you can imagine how tiny and imperceptible their droppings can be. Worm droppings look a bit like a small mound of dirt, and they're usually lumpy, brown in color, and have a dirt-like feel to them. It is usually detected in the early morning, when it is still somewhat fresh.

The reason worm droppings have a dirt-like texture is that they are often mixed with some dirt. As you probably know, worms are subterranean eaters, which means they consume a lot of dirt when they try to eat, since they have no hands and poor vision.

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Do worms pee?

Since worms defecate like most other animals, it's quite logical to wonder if they pee too. However, worms don't pee, at least not like mammals. They have a body part called a glomerulus that is responsible for draining excess water. The nephridium are small tubes found in different parts of the worm.

How do worms poop?

The digestive process of worms is somewhat similar to that of humans, although not as detailed and complex. They ingest food into their bodies through their mouths, which are then ground up by the gizzard and further into the intestines, where the food is broken down and the useful chemicals are properly absorbed. Undigested food and soil particles leave their bodies through the rectum/anus, this excretion is often called casts.

Does worm poop smell?

One of the first things that comes to mind when anyone, whether human or animal, hears poop is the pungent smell. Animals with bad-smelling manure include dogs, cows and pigs, while we have animals whose manure has no smell at all, including worms.

Aside from the small piles of worm droppings, the main reason worm droppings are odorless is the absence of ammonia. If anything, worm droppings smell like damp soil, which is neither pleasant nor pungent. It certainly smells more acceptable than most other animal droppings, though.

What do worms eat?

Closeup of an earthworm
Favorite foods for worms include paper, vegetables, animal droppings, and fungi.

© D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock.com

Most people never actually see a worm eat; some can't even picture what's happening in their minds. However, like all other living things, worms eat to survive, which is why they also shit.

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Worms are widely believed to be omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They love to eat organics, which encompasses just about everything that can't be taken away from them. Their favorite foods include paper, vegetables, animal droppings, decaying matter (plant/animal), bacteria, fruit, microbes, fungi, and eggshells. In their search for food, worms often eat dirt, which is why their droppings feel lumpy to the touch.

Also, many people wonder how the worms actually find these foods, since they don't have eyes, ears, or even noses. While it's true that they don't have these senses, the worms have photoreceptors in place of eyes that help them distinguish between light and dark. They also have a special ability to detect any vibrations around them. Instead of trying to smell food, they've been known to use their sense of taste to spot food particles around them. Once they find food, they will go to great lengths to eat it.

Speaking of consumption, since there are no teeth, the worms use lip-like protrusions to send food into their mouths, where the pharynx grabs the food, and the digestive process continues from there.

If you have pet worms, especially for composting purposes, experts recommend feeding them foods like vegetables, egg shells, paper, and decomposed plant matter, just to name a few. You can also buy specially formulated bug powder for better results and convenience.

Do worms fart?

Worms don't fart; at least not like humans and some animals. However, they do expel trapped gas, which has more to do with their respiratory system than their digestive system. This expulsion of gas is a central part of their physiology, as it allows them to get rid of unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2). Just in case you're wondering, the puffs don't smell as bad as regular farts, and even if they did, you probably wouldn't be able to smell them because they live on Earth just inches from your nose.

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Is Worm Poop Beneficial?

Growth, Plant, Seedling, Cultivated, Seed
Vermicompost can be used as fertilizer.

© iStock.com/RomoloTavani

Not only do worms poop, but casting is also very beneficial as it can be used for composting purposes. Worm droppings are effective as fertilizer because they provide plants with vital nutrients that help them grow bigger and stronger. It also increases the plant's resistance to heat, disease and pests. Vermicompost also contains humus, which can improve soil aeration and water retention, and at the same time alleviate the damage of soil erosion.


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More from AZ Animals

featured image

Red worms come out of the ground
The large diet of earthworms enables them to decompose plant matter and bacteria.

© iStock.com/Mik122

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