Bugs In Compost Pile

I started composting a year ago. I'm not regular about turning, nor consistent about my mix of greens and browns. From what I have read I'm Cold Composting, although my bin got pretty hot when I started adding grass clippings.

I'm finally starting to see some real composted material when I do turn the pile. Which is great, as soon as I can figure out how to separate the compost from the stuff that's still "cooking".

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My question is about the bugs that I see in the bin. During the summer I have a lot of fruit flies. Now that it is cooler, I'm seeing other bugs running around in the pile. I'm not sure what kind of bug they are. What kinds of bugs should I expect to see and which ones should signal a problem with the pile?

Hardiness Zone: 3b


Corene from Neenah, WI

Anonymous Flag
October 7, 20080 found this helpful

According to Captain Compost of Alabama, the bugs that are inside of your compost pile are there to do a job; break the matter down so it can be used on the garden. When the job is done, the bugs will leave. Check the DirtDoctor web-site for more information.

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October 7, 20080 found this helpful

I am also "cold composting", however I put a couple shovels of top soil on top of the fruit and veggies I throw in each time. It sure keeps down the flies and helps keep the pile damp.

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

The majority of the bugs in your compost are good guys, like was previously posted, cover-up any Vegetable matter, that will keep down the unwanted bugs and rodents. Now for sifting I have a frame made out a 2 x4s and the bottom is rabbit safe wire that a heavy wire which is 1/2 in by 1 in. Over a large storage container, I sift into their and what ever hasn't decompose enough I just throw back in the pile. Of course I have an automatic sifter, I have chickens I pile the un sifted compost on the screen and they rake it through for me.

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

If you keep the fruit covered with leaves, grass or dirt, you should not get any fruit flies. The other bugs are likely good guys that are necessary for the composting process.

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

Check out organic gardening.com. Like I said before, You do not need to be total organic to love this site.

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July 11, 20120 found this helpful

I cold compost too, and never turn my pile. Every year we move our compost bin, put the stuff that hasn't decomposed as the bottom layer in the newly moved bin, and use the bottom decomposed stuff in the garden. I've never had rodents/pests in my pile and I don't worry about covering scraps thrown in the pile. It doesn't stink and I just ignore the flies, since they help break down waste too. Every so often, I throw some dirt on the pile to accelerate the decomposition process. Just don't put the bin too close to the back door, and the flies won't be a problem.

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