Worms are your friends! Slugs eat worms so I remove them from the compost pile when I see them (usually they hang out just under the lid, and toss them into a slug trap).
To make a really great slug-trap you cut the top 4-1/2inches off a 2L plastic pop bottle (this forms a funnel which you turn upside down and put back into the bottle).
Then staple the two cut edges together at 3 or 4 places evenly spaced around the edge. Put about 2TBS of slug bait (such as Corry's Slug and Snail Killer) into the bottle and its ready to use.
If you remove the label the bottle becomes almost invisible if you tuck it among your plants. Laying down the trap can't be spoiled by rain and keeps pets away from the poison.
Telling if Compost is Done: Completely finished compost is brown, crumbly and has a delicate, earthy scent with no recognizable plant material.
Worms work in the compost from the bottom up thru the layers as you add stuff and they finish working on the stuff below.
When an area/layer is finished there will be few worms still in it, they will have moved upwards to new eats. You can go ahead and use compost that is mostly done, since you will not have added manures or diseased plants, however if you do, there may be various seeds in it that will germinate. If you don't want that to happen you can cover it with other soil or a mulch of some kind.
The worms you see can either be left in the compost you're using or put back on the top of the pile.
Many things are at work in a compost pile-micro organisms such as bacteria and fungi and larger composters and macro organisms such as mites, centipedes, sow bugs, snails, millipedes, beetles, ants, flies, nematodes and earthworms. So don't be surprised to see any of these in your compost.
Temperature Rising: If it's done right, your compost will start to heat up in its center. This is natural and good as it will help to kill weed seeds and other creepy stuff. Aerobic bacteria considered to be the most important- need carbon as their energy source (to keep eating). They obtain energy by oxidizing organic material. Types of aerobic bacteria work at different temps: 55-70 degrees Psychrophilic 70-100 degrees Mesophilic 130-160 degrees Thermophilic Note: The highest temps would only necessary if you were putting diseased plants in your pile or animal waste.
Turning the Compost: This speeds the process along and most bins could use turning every couple months. That allows oxygen to get to the center of the pile and keeps the temperature up.
If you don't want to turn it you can use a rod of some type to press down into the pile about 4 or 5x to make air holes.
A composter, like the: Earth Machine or the Free Garden Earth don't require turning, you just shovel the finished compost out of the bottom through a side opening. Our municipality offers these to residents at a very reduced price. There's a sliding plastic door that you can lift to check your compost's progress.
The University of Illinois Extension says: Earthworms leave dark, fertile castings behind. A worm can produce its weight in castings each day. These castings are rich in plant nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The presence of earthworms in either compost or soil is evidence of good microbial activity.
4 Things your compost needs: Carbon-dry plant material. Usually brown in color or even shredded paper. Nitrogen-from green/fresh plant material Air Water-for best performance, compost needs to be kept moist. I usually poor a 5 gal bucket of water over pile about once a week.