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Salem Pest Control Service Provides Composting Pest Tips

My First Compost Pile

People who love to garden often shy away from making their own compost because of a shared concern – pests. Salem pest control service experts explain that not all bugs in a compost pile are bad, and some can actually help. Keep reading to learn about beneficial compost pests as well as how to keep the unwanted ones away. 

Good Compost Bugs

Fungi, microbes, bacteria, slugs and other organisms are found in the three levels of a compost pile’s food web decomposition process. These critters, visible and invisible, help turn your organic waste into the nutrient-rich compost you want.

Primary consumers: These are organisms that shred or eat the organic matter in compost; they include mostly herbivores like earthworms, fungi, nematodes, bacteria, snails, slugs, sow bugs, millipedes, pill (potato) bugs and actinomycetes.

Secondary consumers: These organisms eat primary consumers; they include rotifers, nematodes, protozoa, soil flatworms, mites, feather-winged beetles and springtails.

Tertiary consumers: These organisms eat the secondary consumers; they include centipedes, ants, mites, spiders, rove beetles, earwigs and pseudo-scorpions.

Keeping Pests Out

Food scraps are a great thing to add to a compost pile as long as the scraps don’t contain meat, dairy or oils. When a Salem pest control company responds to compost pile problems, the piles often contain meat, fish, fatty foods, dairy, starchy foods, bones or manure. The following tips will help keep unwanted pests away:

  • Use only eggshells and food scraps that come from fruits or vegetables.
  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper before placing them in the compost pile.
  • Bury food scraps under a thick layer of “brown material” in your compost, like grass clippings.
  • A compost pile that’s too wet or dry attracts ants. Add brown material if your compost is too wet; add water to overly dry compost and mix the contents.
  • If there’s an abundance of slugs, place a wooden board near the infestation overnight; dispose of the slugs on the underside of the board the next morning.
  • Use chicken wire covered with bird netting to fence in the compost pile.
  • Use a lid over the compost bin when it’s not in use.
  • Harvest the compost as soon as it’s mature.

If your efforts to maintain a pest-free compost pile seem fruitless, call a Salem pest control service such as Eden. We use green techniques that effectively control pests and maintain the health and integrity of your compost pile. Eden’s technicians work with commercial and residential clients in and around the Salem area and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. Never hesitate to call Eden about any of your pest concerns. 

[ Photo by: mrsdkrebs, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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