Does composting attract ants, flies, roaches, or any pest?


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Mother said yesterday to not even think about composting because it will attract insects and it will smell really bad. I have plants that would benefit from compost, and we generate a LOT of kitchen waste. It could not be more perfect for us to compost. I was planning to do it in a plastic bin which would have lots of holes drilled all around the container.

So, will composting smell bad/attract pests?
 
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Not if done right, nope. The temperature of a good compost pile or bin actually deters bugs as it is too warm. I have one right outside my kitchen window in the side yard and zero bugs or smell (mind you I'm in a very different climate to yours.)

Now you will attract worms and slugs but that is a good thing. I've read that keeping a layer of leaves or grass clippings on top of your pile will eliminate flies...I've had compost heaps in three different locations(all with cold winters) and seriously no issues.

My current house...I toss stuff out the kitchen window and every few days I go add it to compost or recyclables or whatever.
 
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Thank you Beth. I bought a large bin today. I'm going to start composting tomorrow. I already started drilling holes in it.

I will be putting it in shade which gets very little sun if any.
 
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Thank you Beth. I bought a large bin today. I'm going to start composting tomorrow. I already started drilling holes in it.

I will be putting it in shade which gets very little sun if any.
Compost must have moisture and plenty of air. Putting scraps into a plastic bin with a bunch of holes in it is very iffy. Those holes will clog up and your compost will go anaerobic and have a very bad odor. If you keep it closed you will have tons of fruit flies and other unwanted insects. The best thing IMO for your circumstance is a #3 washtub with cheese cloth over the top
 
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I understand where you are coming from with the cheese cloth, but can't I just use the cheese cloth instead of the lid cover for my bin?
 
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I understand where you are coming from with the cheese cloth, but can't I just use the cheese cloth instead of the lid cover for my bin?
Sure you can but the shape of your bin is important. Is it tall like a kitchen garbage bin? Or is it short and wide. If tall and skinny your materials will turn to water and either leak all over the place because of the holes or clog up and go anaerobic. If short and wide the increased air will keep it fairly dry and you won't need holes. How are you going to turn over the materials in a tall skinny bin. In a #3 tub just get your shovel and turn it. At one time years ago I tried the tall kitchen garbage cans. Didn't work. Started the tub, worked fine. Just keep it out of the rain.
 
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One question. Do you put the compost pile in the sun or shade?
I'm not sure sun/shade makes a difference. My last house the compost pile was in full sun, my current one is completely shaded. Both "cook" just fine.
 
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It's short and wide. :)

Thank you for all the helpful tips! I already started the compost. I feel like this will be very successful.
 
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I'm converted:). I had a compost bin and it all just seemed to take too long to be worth it bur NOW i have seen the light. I needed to top up my elevated veggie garden and the compost in my bin was great. i just wrote about this in another post but i wanted to make sure you got the tip of crushing up the egg shells first if you put them in your bin. Now I'm putting them around plants thar snails love in an attempt to deter the little "bb..nuisances" .
My son had set up an open compost bin but I really didn't like it,. It did attract insects plus rats and it did smell. Does any one have any clues on how to make an open compost bin work.
It does seem to be a good idea to have 2 bins on the go, one for now and one for "ron" (later on , dont know whether that is ausssie slang or world wide slang). The one I am using is like R2D2 with doors at the bottom to supposedly get the compost out as it decompses. I have found that doesn't work too well, i can't seem to get it out plus little critters, not sure what, probably possums, open the doors so i have cement stepping stones jammed against the doors to stop them. My first compost bin was one on a stand which you spin around but as it started to fill up it got too heavy for me to turn. And then there is the very large one with a large hook thing to stir up the compost and was impossible for me to turn. All way too big for home use i think.
We have a hard rubbish collection very soon where you put rubbish out on your nature strip and the council collects it. It does make the neighbour hood look pretty awful for a week or two I must say. I just decided "talking to you" that I'm going to put this bin out. People often pick up from the item, you know the saying "one mans rubbish is anothers treasure". I recently put a kennel out which had been given to us and was too small for our big dog and it was taken within a day. Its great.;)
 
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I'm converted:). I had a compost bin and it all just seemed to take too long to be worth it bur NOW i have seen the light. I needed to top up my elevated veggie garden and the compost in my bin was great. i just wrote about this in another post but i wanted to make sure you got the tip of crushing up the egg shells first if you put them in your bin. Now I'm putting them around plants thar snails love in an attempt to deter the little "bb..nuisances" .
My son had set up an open compost bin but I really didn't like it,. It did attract insects plus rats and it did smell. Does any one have any clues on how to make an open compost bin work.
It does seem to be a good idea to have 2 bins on the go, one for now and one for "ron" (later on , dont know whether that is ausssie slang or world wide slang). The one I am using is like R2D2 with doors at the bottom to supposedly get the compost out as it decompses. I have found that doesn't work too well, i can't seem to get it out plus little critters, not sure what, probably possums, open the doors so i have cement stepping stones jammed against the doors to stop them. My first compost bin was one on a stand which you spin around but as it started to fill up it got too heavy for me to turn. And then there is the very large one with a large hook thing to stir up the compost and was impossible for me to turn. All way too big for home use i think.
We have a hard rubbish collection very soon where you put rubbish out on your nature strip and the council collects it. It does make the neighbour hood look pretty awful for a week or two I must say. I just decided "talking to you" that I'm going to put this bin out. People often pick up from the item, you know the saying "one mans rubbish is anothers treasure". I recently put a kennel out which had been given to us and was too small for our big dog and it was taken within a day. Its great.;)
I have 2 compost bins, one for now and the other later. Mine are not on the bare ground but on galvanized sheet metal with galvanized sides. They are 8ft long x 5 ft high x 4 ft wide. I live out in the country where animals of all kinds live and I have never in the 20 years I have lived here had either an odor or an animal problem with my compost piles. Mostly my compost piles are composed of garden wastes and leaves but there is a sizable amount of kitchen wastes too, mostly vegetable scraps and a few crushed egg shells. Every time I put kitchen scraps, or anything green onto the pile I cover it up with the compost. This seems to make it break down faster and eliminate any odor that may or may not be there. About ever 3 months I will try to turn the entire pile over but at my age never quite accomplish the project. In the spring when I use the compost the bottom foot or so is compacted so I have to loosen it up but I do this in a wheelbarrow. If I add a lot of stuff at one time I always water it down with diluted molasses which really makes it decompose faster.
 
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There is a chance that your compost will attract a certain type of fly, and it will lay eggs in your compost. (y)


What you may see is a Black Soldier Fly.



They only eat in their larval stage, and they eat decaying organic matter, so they are beneficial, not a pest fly. The adults don't have functioning mouth parts. (They function, but only as an aid to climbing.) They spend 5-8 days looking for mates and reproducing. They deposit eggs, so they look like they have a stinger. :eek:





I've cut out bits that weren't relevant to the thread, but this is from Wikipedia, more to read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetia_illucens

  • Larvae are beneficial in the following ways:
    • They prevent houseflies and blowflies from laying eggs in the material inhabited by black soldier fly larvae.[5]
    • They are usually not a pest.
      • They are not attracted to human habitation or foods.[5] As a detritivore and coprovore, the egg-bearing females are attracted to rotting food or manure.
      • Black soldier flies do not fly around as much as houseflies. They are very easy to catch and relocate when they get inside a house, as they do not avoid being picked up, they are sanitary, and they do not bite or sting. Their only defense seems to be hiding.
    • They quickly reclaim would-be pollutants: Nine stinky organic chemicals were greatly reduced or eliminated from manure in 24 hours.[4]
    • They quickly reduce the volume and weight of would-be waste: The larval colony breaks apart its food, churns it, and creates heat, increasing compost evaporation. Significant amounts are also converted to carbon dioxide respired by the grubs and symbiotic/mutualistic microorganisms.
/Quote. :)

They are more segmented than house fly maggots.




:) They make good fishing bait.
 
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I'm curious how this worked out for you?
It's doing good! I'm definetly getting compost in it. I just stirred it and saw a lot of worms moving around. I added a lot of dried leaves a month ago and it's still taking time to compost.
 
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Hi @CrazyConure, i am a little late to the compost party and it sounds like you are having success. I also am a new composter and had many of the concerns that you expressed. You have received some great advice from experienced composters.

I have a small garden and needed a composting method that would not stink, or attract bugs, or be unsightly. I started with a tree sized pot 20" (50cm) in diameter at the top, 18" (46cm) tall with holes in the bottom, elevated 3.5:" off the ground. I began by putting sunscreen material (1 round finely woven but porous layer on the inside bottom of the pot, then a layer of rocks, then a layer of coco fiber to act as a deodorizer and then a layer of store bought compost to act as a liquid absorbent and also provide some bioactivity. Then i added a layer of chopped up kitchen scraps (i also have a lot) including banana peels which i had been saving in a bag in the freezer. I covered that with a sprinkling of DE and a thin layer of shredded newsprint, thin layer of store bought compost (later i will use the home grown compost), and topped it off with a layer of dried Neem leaves. I covered the top with the sunscreen material you see in the photos. Later i visited the container. The flies had already shown an interest even though they couldn't get in and the garden smelled like rotten broccoli. So i changed the sunscreen material to plastic with no holes. I added more leaves to the top, and checked the bottom to be sure no liquid was leaking out, but it was dry and no bugs were showing any interest down there. So layer by layer i built up the raw materials to compost, It remained moist but not muddy wet, i didn't bother to stir it up. It remained without smell, without any bugs showing interest. I was delighted. When the container was full i let it sit for a month...and wahlah, compost, very good with no smell. I changed the plastic top for the sunscreen top and let it dry for a couple of weeks. Now i am bagging it up. In the meantime, i have started a second container in the same way. I have not seen any bug express the least interest in this container. People have told me, no you need to do this and you need to do that, but i didn't and now i have the most lovely compost.:)

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