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How do I keep rats out of compost pile?


 
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tgg
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: How do I keep rats out of compost pile? Reply with quote

How do I keep rats out of my compost pile?

I want to grow the healthiest fruits and vegetables that I can, using only natural fertilizer.
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James Kilkelly, was GPI.
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:27 am    Post subject: Tips to deter rats from your compost area. Reply with quote

Hello tgg.
Firstly, have a look at this Irish Gardeners article on garden rats http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=235

Then use some or all of the following tips to deter rats from your compost area...

1/ Any composting materials that fall onto the ground around the compost heap should be picked up.

2/ A rat is more likely to enter a compost bin in the garden if incorrect materials have been composted. Never compost meat, fish, bones or other cooked foods, also do not add dairy products such as milk or yogurts.Don't give the rat a food source as well as a shelter.

3/ Top up and fork over your compost regularly, as rats do not like to be disturbed. Try positioning your compost heap where it gets regularly walked by, this will continually disturb the vermin.

4/ Place the compost bin or heap in an open area. Rats hate the exposure of travelling across an open piece of ground Rats don't like to cross open spaces as it makes them more visable to predetors.

5/ A plastic compost heap which you buy in, can often have a lid you can strap, clamp on screw on, this will help prevent rat access. A homemade compost heap can be covered with a sheet of plywood and weighted heavily, this may cause a slight slowing of the composting process, but you can't have everything.

6/ All access gaps into the composting unit a half inch or larger should be covered with galvanised metal mesh. The best mesh is the one with very small gaps, so use builders diamond mesh which is often used in plastering jobs and to to strengthen concrete.

This can be pegged to the soil beneath the bin or heap to prevent rat entry but still allow worms to enter and provide drainage and aeration. On a compost heap created from old pallets, you must tack this mesh to the insides of the heap walls also.

7/ Remember, where rats are around, it is a good idea to wear gloves when handling your compost and soil.

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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Lavender and catmint Reply with quote

Lavender and catmint are known to deter rats. Try planting them around the compost heap. A ring of steel. Very Happy
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verge
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: RATS article on IG Reply with quote

Member Inishindie has posted an interesting article on rats and compost heaps here....... RATS
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Lizard
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Tips to deter rats from your compost area. Reply with quote

That's interesting.. what you said about rats and open space. Well done for not suggesting rat poison. I have two very cute pet rats at home, and when I let them out for a run on the bathroom floor, they always end up hiding behind the toilet - this used to puzzle me.. but now I know thanks!

GPI wrote:
Hello tgg.
Firstly, have a look at this Irish Gardeners article on garden rats http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=235

Then use some or all of the following tips to deter rats from your compost area...

1/ Any composting materials that fall onto the ground around the compost heap should be picked up.

2/ A rat is more likely to enter a compost bin in the garden if incorrect materials have been composted. Never compost meat, fish, bones or other cooked foods, also do not add dairy products such as milk or yogurts.Don't give the rat a food source as well as a shelter.

3/ Top up and fork over your compost regularly, as rats do not like to be disturbed. Try positioning your compost heap where it gets regularly walked by, this will continually disturb the vermin.

4/ Place the compost bin or heap in an open area. Rats hate the exposure of travelling across an open piece of ground Rats don't like to cross open spaces as it makes them more visable to predetors.

5/ A plastic compost heap which you buy in, can often have a lid you can strap, clamp on screw on, this will help prevent rat access. A homemade compost heap can be covered with a sheet of plywood and weighted heavily, this may cause a slight slowing of the composting process, but you can't have everything.

6/ All access gaps into the composting unit a half inch or larger should be covered with galvanised metal mesh. The best mesh is the one with very small gaps, so use builders diamond mesh which is often used in plastering jobs and to to strengthen concrete.

This can be pegged to the soil beneath the bin or heap to prevent rat entry but still allow worms to enter and provide drainage and aeration. On a compost heap created from old pallets, you must tack this mesh to the insides of the heap walls also.

7/ Remember, where rats are around, it is a good idea to wear gloves when handling your compost and soil.

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NoobGardener
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Location: Co. Wickla'

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an old thread, but something I've always wondered
Everytime I read about making compost, it always says don't add meat or cooked food...but it always says after, as this may attract vermin.
My question is, can you actually compost meat/dairy etc if you can 100% guarantee no vermin would get to it? I mean, apart from vermin, is there a reason to not compost meat etc
I'm not thinking of doing it, I'm just wondering.
Thanks
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Sive
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume anything that comes from a living organism will decay if given enough time.
However it might not smell too sweet in the process !
I ignore the "cooked food" ban, and have done so for over 30 years composting, with no problems.
However when I say "cooked food" I don't mean any animal products.....but I regularly add cooked leftovers such as vegetables, rice, pasta, and stale bread.
I don't compost meat, fat, cheese or fish.
I also have a long-held ambition......... to end up in my compost heap myself....but it will have to be my ashes !
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Fiachra
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a pot of mint beside the compost heap and one on top of the (broken) cover.So far no rats.I read somewhere that bananas and melons attract rats so I don't compost these.
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sal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a jack russell and 3 cats,but mint planted by the composter is something i must try ,and around my chicken coop,as i give them melon and banana skins,thanks for that tip
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we recently got the brown bin from the council and you can put nearlly everything in it left over meat bones fish veg bread pasta etc. etc. the downside is the smell and the amount of flies.is anyone familiar with a method of reducing the fly content considerably thanks in advance
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my daughter planted lemon balm in the chicken coop to keep away flies,we also have a couple of yarrow plants in there too,sophie our chicken lingers round them and is very quick to grab the insects that fly to the yarrow,perhaps that is why no flies?or maybe the lemon balm is doing its job,i also heard lavender repels flies.
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheers sal thanks for that will try those love lemon balm
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Fiachra
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi folks,
Last weekend I discovered a rat in one of my raied beds which I had covered with carpet for the winter.I was taking off the carpet to let the frost at the ground.The rat has disappeared , presumed dead, but has left lots of droppings after him. I know by the colour of the droppings that he had eaten poison. My question is - after clearing the nest and droppings away , should I be safe enough in planting veg there in the spring? I was going to plant japanese onions and garlic in that bed in the next few weeks but think I will use another bed instead for fear of the effects of the poison and weils disease.Any advice?
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