Help! It’s attack of the giant, mutant macro organisms!
Wait, what are they attacking? Your food scraps? In your compost pile?
And that’s bad, because….?
Let’s face it- most of our multi-legged, exo-skeletal neighbors have a bad reputation but they are actually great for your compost pile. Here’s some help in how to sort the good, the bad, and the ugly so you encourage the friendly creatures and discourage the annoying ones.
Many of the creatures squirming and crawling through your pile actually help break down material. You’ve probably seen the mini armadillos, a.k.a. pill bugs and sow bugs, and may also see the occasional millipede,
More annoying than bad, sometimes composters encounter fruit flies or ants in the pile. Simply burying your food scraps under leaves or shredded paper will deter fruit flies- they will not burrow down into the pile to find a meal or lay their eggs.
I’ve heard of ants colonizing in the occasional bin as well. While these won’t hurt the composting process theyTurning your pile will add oxygen and heat things up sending the ants packing and giving you finished compost sooner.
I confess, the thought of roaches in my compost bin gives me the heebee jeebees so I am grateful to never have had this problem. But I have heard a few times of this occurring. Roaches will not bother your compost bin, in fact they will help in the decomposition. Try heating up your pile if you find it impossible to ignore them.
Another shiver-inducing creepy crawly are the always lovable baby bugs- squirmy white maggots.
Most of the organisms you find in your bin are helpful so don’t get too worked up. Try not to pay them too much attention and they will return the favor.