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Compost Animal and Insect Pest Control

Under the wrong conditions, a wide variety of  pests and insects are attracted to your composting project. Under the right conditions, you still find insects and pests seeking to gain access. Even your family dog or cat, cold be attracted to your compost pile, if you put the wrong things in it.

Mice, rats, skunks, and raccoons are just a few examples of animals that are attracted to your compost.

There is a wide range of insects and bugs that want to get to your compost for a source of food, or for nesting.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to block and discourage both animals and insects from hanging around the compost pile. Be prepared for small insects to remain hovering around the compost. Even if they cant' get in, they are attracted to the odors.

Controlling pests, somewhat a function of the composting method that you select.

Here are some tips and ideas, to help you to minimize the traffic jam working its way to your compost:

  • Do not put meat, fish, or animal bones into your compost. This definitely attracts pests, including your cat or dog.
  • If you use an open compost pile in the corner of your yard or garden, it may be next to impossible to keep many, or any, of these critters out. But, by adding fine mesh metal screening around the pile, you can make a dent in the traffic. 
  • If you use a compost barrel or bin, use a lid. A fine metal screen will keep most animals out. A solid wood, metal or plastic lid, that closes tightly will keep animals and many insects out.
  • If the barrel or bin you use, does not have a bottom, place a fine mesh metal screen under it.
  • The best way to keep pests out, is to use a composter with firmly sealable lids. Even composters, with holes for aeration and for excess water to drain, will attract insects around the unit.


  • Do not use insecticides in or around your composting project. After all, you are composting to provide organic gardening materials.
  • Do not use poison baits around your compost..... or your garden for that matter. Some of these poisons can find its way to the compost, or your garden soil.

Got an organic tip for controlling pests?

Related Gardening Topics:

How to Control Garden Pests


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