How Do Worms and Earthworms Eat? (All You Need to Know)

Living underground seems like an easy task for worms, but how do they live is the question. Like many other curious minds, you may wonder how worms survive underground. For instance, you may be interested to know what and how they gather nutrients.

So, you may ask: How do worms and earthworms eat? Worms and earthworms eat through digging. They eat the soil in front of them through their small toothless mouth. Their bodies filter out the dirt from the nutrients they need, and they secrete the waste, which is a perfect ground fertilizer. This matter is what we call castings.

Worms don’t have any teeth, but they have mouths at the tip of their bodies. They don’t have any specific preference for food. They eat the soil and take in whatever nutrients they can get from it.

In general, worms and earthworms eat whatever is in front of them. Further, they help till the soil and improve the ground around them.

In this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look into how worms and earthworms eat. This way, you’ll have an idea of how they survive underground.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

How do worms eat and digest their food?

Worms eat and digest their food using a specific body part that people call a gizzard.

The gizzard uses stones so the earthworms can grind the food completely. The food then moves into their intestines.

While they do so, the gland cells in their intestine release fluids, aiding the digestive process.

The intestinal wall contains blood vessels where the digested food gets absorbed. Afterward, it would then get transferred and distributed to the rest of the body.

Related: What Do Worms And Earthworms Eat

What do worms eat?

Worms eat none other than soil since all the nutrition they need comes from it. Among these are decaying roots, leaves, grass, bread, and sometimes even animal carcasses.

Moreover, worms also eat other living organisms. They can eat things in the soil, such as nematodes, protozoans, rotifers, fungi, and bacteria.

For this reason, they somewhat do many benefits for the soil as they eat. Worms get rid of decomposing matter as they create spaces in the ground they burrow.

As a result, the soil gets tilled, allowing water and air to pass through. Further, worms secrete castings, which are soil rich in many nutrients.

Castings work as an organic fertilizer that improves the growth of plants.

What do worms like to eat most?

Worms have no specific preference when it comes to food. Still, they would need soil with many components to survive.

For instance, worms would get loads of nutrients from leaves, roots, and even food scraps.

If you have compost worms, putting typical fruits and scraps would suffice. However, you should avoid large quantities of meat, citrus, onions, normal potatoes, and dairy foods.

If it’s a typical earthworm, you don’t have to worry much about what they can eat since they can pretty much take anything available.

How often do worms need to eat?

Worms eat all the time, especially during the day. Still, you don’t need to give food all the time.

Although worms eat often, they don’t need frequent feeding since they are relatively small.

For instance, a cup of food for worms should be enough and last for about a week or two days.

You can make some changes depending on how much the worms would eat.

If the worms’ area starts to smell, it may be a sign that you’re overfeeding them.

So, you may wonder how much food they can eat.

How much food do worms need to eat?

In general, worms can eat about half their weight every day. You can use this as a guide to calculate how much food you should give.

Of course, it will also depend on the number of worms your area has. If you’re simply wondering, a group of worms weighing a single pound can eat half a pound of food within a day.

It’s also your choice whether to give food in small amounts often, or give a large part one at a time.

It would be better to do the former to avoid overfeeding and turning your area into something smelly.


In general, worms and earthworms eat through their mouth, and they eat anything they find available.

Since they live underground, they eat soil and get nutrients from it. The ground contains all the nutrients they need. It can be the roots, leaves, or even the remains of animals. Further, they can eat all kinds of microorganisms included in it.

Worms can eat even the things that seem gross to us, just like our poop.

Despite the unpleasant reality, they remain to be beneficial since they help our environment recycle resources. While worms aren’t pleasant, they can still be helpful.


Image credits – Canva

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