This is how it happened.
Just this evening as I was about to pour water on the worm bin's pan (kinda like a moat, to repel the ants), I notice some worms have escaped outside. This was strange because they've never done that before. I like to think they're cozy all burrowed up in the ice cream tub.
Probably it was the too-wet beddings. I've sprinkled too much water the other day. And the slabs of papaya skins are still there, just rotting. So I shred some newspapers and stuff them in at the bottom, hoping the paper would somehow miraculously absorb the wet all of a sudden, I also give the pile a good turn to air it out. I think the worms are happy now.
That's when I notice the smell. Maybe methane, or something equally poisonous. I shouldn't have put too much food than they can handle. Anyway, the newspapers are all there and should do the job.
So I put the screen back on top just so there won't be any fugitive worms again. And then I take a bath, because geez, I've been handling dozens of worms.
When I get back to the room, all the worms are as stiff as a pencil, not a squirm from any of them. Great, I just locked them in and asphyxiated them all while I was busy lathering my hair with conditioner. Must remember earthworms breathe through their skin. If I myself was feeling woozy from all that methane gas, how much more they?
I can't believe I'm this sad about worms. Earthworms!
And to think it's only been three months since I fished them out of the vermicompost area at our local park. (I practically had to help myself to them because the worm guy was selling them for scads.)
Sure they aren't as visibly cheerful as a pet dog, but still I think I've taken good care of them for the last three months, until well this latest massacre. There are three survivors I think, but I'm not so sure.
I myself am having trouble breathing right now.
So caveat: beware of the too-rotten worm bin. Don't overfeed the worms. And be quick at the shower.