By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 8 March 2011)
Unfortunately, compost tends to attract various types of pests, including animals and flies, but there are ways to prevent or at least reduce this problem.
How can I keep animals away from my compost pile?
Meat scraps, fatty or oily foods, bread, cake, pasta, and rice will attract pests, so avoid adding these materials to your compost. Use a lidded container or wire mesh around the base of an open compost pile to discourage wild animals. Many pests can also be discouraged by adding pet hair to the compost. In addition, turning the pile regularly to release trapped heat can reduce the pile’s attractiveness as a nesting site for rodents, which may burrow in seeking warmth during the colder months.
How can I stop my compost from attracting flies?
If flies are a problem, burying kitchen wastes under a layer of dry materials can reduce the compost’s attractiveness to insects. If you’re collecting material in the kitchen, keeping it in a covered pail in the freezer or refrigerator is recommended.
Should I be concerned about slugs and snails in my compost pile?
Many people believe that slugs and snails in the compost are a problem, but they’re actually useful in helping to break materials down. In addition, the smorgasbord of favourite slug and snail foods in the compost bin helps to keep them away from garden plants they’d normally attack.