You could easily get confused about which worm to use when you are comparing earthworms and red wigglers. Its best to have some information about a phylum of worm’s habits before selecting them for a project. You should never use a deep worm for a surface project. Using a surface worm for the wrong project could end in a failed effort.
Earthworms are deep worms and red wigglers are social surface worms.
There are over 3,000 varieties of earthworms, all from the Annelid phylum. Earthworms neither see nor hear, but they can swim very well. They move along the earth by contracting muscles along their bottoms. How can they detect danger? They are sensitive to vibrations. These are always deep worms that love being 3 to 10 feet underground.
Eisenia Foetida or the red wiggler is a worm that flourishes in crowded or populated conditions. They can eat around half their weight daily. Red wigglers are very much like earthworms except for one key difference. They do not burrow into the ground like the earthworm. You are more likely to find them on top of the earth than deep in it.
When you compare the two, it is obvious that red wigglers are suited to break down compost. This compost is vermicompost. Your compost bin filled with the weight of red wigglers will break down contents in the usual time.
If you attempted to use earthworms, you would soon discover they had escaped from the compost bin. Earthworms do not thrive on the surface. They much prefer borrowing into the earth. That is where they feel most content. If you capture them on the surface, they will seek to escape into the depths of the earth.
Earthworms make great fishing bait because they grow fat and their wiggling underwater excites the fish. You can rarely find red wigglers in soil and they love rotting vegetation or compost. So, your compost pile is best served by the red wiggler. The fisherman who also composts is in luck, because when he needs worms, he can get some from the compost pile. Red wigglers also make excellent fishing bait.