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I have lots of flies and ants in my compost bin. What can I do to stop these insects breeding in my compost bin (that's if they are harming the actual production of my compost, which I think they are doing).
I am looking for something which will not ruin the compost? Also, how do I attract beneficial earthworms into the compost pile? I live in a subtropical zone in Australia. With thanks in anticipation.
By Bern Johnson from Caloundra, AU
I think ant spray will do the job. Maybe the compost will have worms in it later. Do research on them, good luck.
Don't worry about the ants. They will help break down the compost. Here are some questions for you. What are you putting in your compost bin that attracts flies? No meat should go in. How close to the house is it? It shouldn't be right on your doorstep.
How often do you turn it? You should turn it once every week, especially if you have insects. This also helps break down the matter so flies have nothing to feed on.Try putting a bag of soil into it or a bag of sheep or cow manure. That will help break it down.
Remember: you should have approximately half green/wet compost and half dry compost. One half fruit and vegetable peelings, lawn clippings etc. the other half dried leaves and dried grass.
You could try a composter with a lid. That would also keep out the insects. Keep turning it and the flies should go away.
Could you cover it temporarily?
Don't put anything harmful like poison sprays or dusts, etc. Then it will be in your soil for whatever use you use the compost. Like the previous poster says, be sure you have no meat products, dairy products or oily things. Just vegetable, fruits and yard clippings. Shredded Newspaper is great too, not the funnies or extra "colored" papers.
I have a nice-looking compost pile, but I have noticed white grub-looking bugs in it. Is this normal for compost piles? I know that worms are very important to the decomposition of a compost pile, are the grubs there to help the worms along?
I have not turned the pile this year, and the bin does not have proper ventilation. The sides are completely closed instead of slatted so that it can get ventilation. I have been meaning to re-do the bin, but it is just so darn hot this time of year.
I also have a compost pile in a plastic tub made for composting. It has plenty of ventilation. But I have never noticed any grubs in the compost when I turn it so I don't know if ventilation will deter grubs. Any white grubs I see in my lawn I know they will be turning into Japanese beetles.
Are they grubs or maggots (fly larva)? Sometimes when my pile has fruit on top, flies will lay eggs that grow into maggots and be noticable on top. It just helps with the breakdown of the fruit, as will aeration of the pile. It may not be the best way to get the job done, but will work none-the-less. I'd suggest that you get an aerated bin when you get time to accelerate the composting. By the way, not turning the compost is known as cold-composting--it takes less work and while slower, the results are the same.
Be sure you aren't putting any meat or meat products in the composter-these would cause maggots-which could look like grubs.
Grubs are usually a spring time pest, as they turn into Japanese beetles by summer. Perhaps you have something else.
My compost bin is infested with slaters (woodlice). Any suggestions would be welcome. I'm not sure about insect spray as I don't want to spoil the compost?
By marion davidson from Scotland
According to this website
if you have wood lice and slaters, that means the moisture content in your compost is just right, and they are part of the procedure of composting vegetable matter.
Thanks! That gives far more comprehensive information than I got from our council along with my bin.
COMPOSTING 101 - these critters are an indicator that your compost is doing excatly what it's supposed to do - "decompose material".
Whatever you do, don't disturb them! Give them more things to do, like rotation of materials within the bin, or addd more. material for them to work on.