How can you keep rats and mice away from the compost heap?


Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
I'd like to start a compost heap as it seems such a waste to throw all the greens away and then go out and buy compost. We live out in the country and I'm worried that it will attract rodents. Is there any way to keep them out?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
70
Reaction score
14
Location
Arizona
Cats.

Or you can put your compost in a barrel or other container and cover it. You'll have to stir it around occasionally so it doesn't get too hot, but that should be done even if it wasn't in a container.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jed

Jed

Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Messages
456
Reaction score
160
Any food scraps will attract animals. Using an enclosed system would be the best option. I no longer use food waste to make compost but use straw and animal manures. The problem with rodents is once encouraged to your property they will quickly find your seedlings and other vegetables such as beetroot and pumpkins. I now feed my vegetable scraps to the resident wallabies that abound around here. :)
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
Several neighbours have cats but I guess they're busy in their own gardens. It sounds like the compost bin will be best. I suppose I could put some wire or mesh underneath to discourage the mice from coming up from below. And perhaps I'll omit the food scraps. Unfortunately we don't have wallabies round here to feed, they sound fun!
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
70
Reaction score
14
Location
Arizona
Several neighbours have cats but I guess they're busy in their own gardens. It sounds like the compost bin will be best. I suppose I could put some wire or mesh underneath to discourage the mice from coming up from below. And perhaps I'll omit the food scraps. Unfortunately we don't have wallabies round here to feed, they sound fun!
As far as wire or mesh, two things are good to remember: Rats and mice can get through amazingly small places (so mesh would be best, with a small weave), and they can gnaw through a lot of things, so hardware cloth (as it is called in some areas) is good. It is made of metal. I cannot remember if all mesh is made of metal (but in your area, perhaps mesh and hardware cloth are the same thing).
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
190
Reaction score
22
Location
Middle of Nowhere, NC
They're small, crafty little critters who seem to be able to get into anything, so it's important to keep that in mind when making your compost pile to keep them away. I remember my mom's compost pile was open, and I remember going out there to add things to it and stir it around, only to have mice run out, so it's something that I would keep in mind for sure.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I compost in a blue storage bin. Someone told me that blue plastic leaches the least amount of chemicals and the best thing was to to convert a lidded storage bin so that is what I did. It sits outside near the steps and I have another blue bin that sits on top the lid that I use to collect rainwater. I was concerned about critters, but it's completely contained, so nothing gets in.
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
9,285
Location
Womenswold, Kent
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
I've used a blue bin too, it had been used for shipping applejuice so I knew it would be food grade polythene. Only time a rat got in was when I forgot to put the lid back on overnight.

He wasn't happy as he'd dropped in & couldn't get back out.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
Only time a rat got in was when I forgot to put the lid back on overnight.

He wasn't happy as he'd dropped in & couldn't get back out.
Ewwwwwwwww!!!!!!

Open piles never worked for me. I had a fancy black bin once, but the rest of the household wouldn't cooperate and I was still new to composting so when my uncle asked for it, I let him have it.

When I cook regularly I produce a lot of peelings and scraps and it adds up quickly. It's good to know I can reuse the stuff by composting or even taking it to the local market.
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
9,285
Location
Womenswold, Kent
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
I got put off the open pile heap when I accidentally speared a baby mouse when forking it over :(
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I got put off the open pile heap when I accidentally speared a baby mouse when forking it over :(
Again, ewwwwwww!!!!! Now there's as good a reason as any to not have an open pile. Yuck!
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
9,285
Location
Womenswold, Kent
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
You wouldn't like our rescue mouse then?



Cat brought her in over 3 years ago, she was only a baby & the time she'd got better she'd got too tame to release.

We call her Mat.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
You wouldn't like our rescue mouse then?

Cat brought her in over 3 years ago, she was only a baby & the time she'd got better she'd got too tame to release.

We call her Mat.
Ah, no. We city folk don't go in for that sort of thing at all.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
859
Reaction score
168
Location
Connecticut USA
The simplest and most ecologically sound way would be to cover it or put it niside of bins. An open compost pile will draw all kinds of critters, especially the more problematic ones like mice and rats. I'm sure that you neighbors would be glad if you put it in some sort of a covered structure.
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
9,285
Location
Womenswold, Kent
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
Ah, no. We city folk don't go in for that sort of thing at all.
Blimey, this is an old thread. Mat Mouse passed away, but she lived for over twice the lifespan that she would of in the wild.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
10
Location
Andover UK
Compost heaps attract rodents because they are warm and in most cases dry, the easiest way to stop rodents nesting in them is to keep the heap moist, by watering it well on weekly basis, this also speeds up the rotting process.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
307
Location
Miami, FL
I got put off the open pile heap when I accidentally speared a baby mouse when forking it over :(
Wow, that would have put me off open compost heaps too. Gross. Supposedly us apartment dwellers can compost too because they make tiny compost canisters with charcoal filters to control the smell that can be stored under the kitchen sink. I haven't gotten around to buying one yet, but it's a cool idea.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
I'd like to start a compost heap as it seems such a waste to throw all the greens away and then go out and buy compost. We live out in the country and I'm worried that it will attract rodents. Is there any way to keep them out?
I am too scared of rodents and do not want to have a compost heep that would attract them. can I use the container would top to do that
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top