I'm looking at trying to breed earthworms, specifically Nightcrawlers (Lumbricus terrestris) also called dew worms. Part of the reason I'm specifically interested in keeping nightcrawlers as opposed to the smaller species of earthworms called red wrigglers (Eisenia fetida) is the red wrigglers produce a defensive slime that stinks and can make snakes sick.
I think it's easy enough to keep nightcrawlers in a container of organic soil in a cool place, as it's commonly done when keeping them for fishing bait. But I've seen on television the nightcrawler "farms" that collect them to sell for fishing bait just collect them from a big empty field. I'm not sure if that's a logistics issue of how many they need to collect, or if it's an issue with breeding them in captivity.
I was hoping to keep and breed them in a container kept in my basement. Like most live food they can get pretty expensive to continuously purchase from the store, and I don't really want to collect them from my backyard in case of exposure to pesticides.
Is it possible to breed nightcrawlers, or is there a reason it isn't something people do?