It’s great to start a compost bin to help the environment – and it’s cost-efficient. The worst part about starting your compost bin is the pests it can attract. According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, compost contains many different microorganisms, with all different makeups and things they can do. Having a lot of different microbes can lead to a chance of pesticides. Having more pesticides can lead to microbes that can break it down and deteriorate it.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some practical ways to keep pests away without using any harmful pesticides.
- Don’t use animal or dairy products in your compost pile. The smells from these will attract rodents or pests.
- Use dry leaves at the bottom of the bin for proper drainage. This will help keep the compost bin’s odors hidden from rodents and prevent burrowing.
- Make sure your container is in a well-ventilated area with some partial sunshine.
- Make sure that there aren’t any visible scraps. If there are, you can cover them with more dry leaves or grass. This will help absorb and smells
- Keep your bin slightly damp. Keeping your bin damp will discourage pests from nesting. You can use a fork to create an airway to help reduce the odors that the pests are attracted to.
- When the compost is ready, use it right away.
What If It Doesn’t Work
If you’ve done these things and are still having pest issues, you can “pest-proof” your compost bin. Putting a layer of wire around a plastic bin will prevent burrowing. Using a plastic bin is recommended. If you’re using a wooden container, it’s essential to line the inside before you start adding compost. Lining the box will prevent the wood from getting wet, which could lead to mold and mildew. If your wooden bin as a top that is removable, make sure there is a quality mesh to overlap the areas that aren’t covered anymore. This will make sure pests can’t get in and ruin your compost.