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Hardly any garden can do without a composter. However, if you dispose of the wrong substances here, you will quickly have to deal with excessive maggot formation. As a result, the compost develops an unpleasant odor and it can no longer be used as fertilizer. It is therefore necessary to combat larvae, grubs and maggots as quickly as possible.

maggots

What are maggots anyway?

Maggots are fly larvae that are either born directly or develop from eggs. They have an extremely bad reputation, being primarily found in rotten, organic material. This includes feces, garbage and food, as well as unprotected, raw meat.

Maggots vary in size and can be identified primarily by the amount in which they occur. If the compost gives off a bad smell, it is advisable to keep an eye out for the small pests, which are usually found under the top layer of compost. If maggots are not eliminated, they pupate and develop into flies. The flies then lay their eggs again.

Maggots of the housefly

notice: The maggot itself is harmless to the plants of the garden, as its food consists of organic waste. If maggots get into the flower bed via the compost, nothing usually happens and the pests die.

grubs

What are grubs?

The grub is a fat larva that can usually be found in the shape of a horseshoe. The length is about six centimeters, the body is light brown to orange-brown in color. Black grubs are descended from various species of beetles and are harmful to the garden.
If grubs appear in the compost, it is advisable to determine their origin. Depending on which beetle they come from, they are harmful to plants in different ways. There are some grubs that feed exclusively on dead plant parts and those that also damage living plants.

Different types of grubs at a glance:

  • Cockchafer, harms living plants
  • Rose chafer, feeds only on dead plant parts
  • ribbed curlew beetle
  • scarab beetle
  • various other beetle species

The grub does not appear as frequently as the grub and in the event of an infestation it is often sufficient to collect the individual worms and place them in front of the birds. The compost does not need to be discarded if the infestation is low, but it should be sieved before use.

larvae and co. prevent and combat

dry compost

If the compost heap is used properly, this is already the best prevention against larvae, maggots, grubs and worms. It is not only relevant that the composter is filled correctly, but also that moisture is avoided.
It is often very wet in this country, especially in autumn and winter. The moisture in the composter increases the risk of maggot infestation, since the pests need a humid climate. A dry compost heap is therefore the be-all and end-all of prevention.

How to keep the compost dry:

  • rainproof composter from the trade
  • attach rainproof cover for protection
  • supplement the filling with absorbent material
  • Egg cartons, newspaper, bentonite, and sawdust are all good materials

To prevent moisture build-up and maggot infestation, wet leaves, wet plant debris, or wet lawn clippings should not be placed in the composter. The organic material should first dry well before it can be disposed of.

Birds as natural predators

Maggots are a nuisance to humans and their gardens, but a real treat for birds. If there are many birds in the garden, they have the food almost directly from the source.

You can encourage birds to settle by providing hedges, nesting boxes and lots of small niches for the animals. It is best to create such places near the composter, because this is how the feathered friends ensure that worms and co. have no chance.

Home remedies against larvae and other pests

Once the compost is infested, there are various home remedies you can use to contain or treat the infestation. However, make sure that the home remedies are compatible with the fertilizer produced from the composter.

Lime, which is sprinkled directly on the annoying pests, is particularly suitable. The same system works if you use silica instead of lime. Sand, on the other hand, is unsuitable! Salt is also unsuitable because it can damage the roots of the plants if it gets into the soil.

No chemicals

There are a lot of chemical preparations when it comes to fighting grubs and co. goes. However, they are unsuitable for a natural composter. The decomposed remains should eventually be used as fertilizer one day, but the compost is rendered unusable by chemicals.

In an emergency, remove the compost completely

If none of the preventive measures against the larvae have helped, the fertilizer is lost and should be removed. It is important that you also destroy all maggots and worms during the removal. Depending on the amount of compost, you can dispose of leftovers in airtight bags with household waste.

Larger quantities are also possible cooking water over the heap to kill the pests before discarding the material.

Replace old with new composter

To eradicate the pests and set up a new composter, proceed as follows:

  • clean the composter carefully
  • wash everything with vinegar solution
  • let the composter dry very well
  • cover the site safely
  • make sure the temperature is not too high
  • When filling, be careful not to fill in too much

tip: It is hardly possible to prevent beetle larvae, as they also occur in plant residues. However, you can avoid fly larvae by only disposing of waste that is suitable for composting.

Smells as protection against fly larvae

To prevent the flies from laying their eggs in the composter, it is possible to scare them away with smells. You can settle various plants around the heap, whose smells flies do not appreciate. In this way you can also make your compost bin more attractive.

These smells are unpopular with flies:

  • incense
  • basil
  • peppermint
  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • geraniums
  • laurel

You can also regularly dispose of waste from these plants in the composter, as this also drives away flies. However, these odors cannot prevent beetle larvae from being deposited.

What should be disposed of on the compost

Without a compost heap, it is not so easy to remove the garbage that accumulates in the garden. But if the wrong things end up on the compost, worms will form very quickly, especially in the summer months.

In principle, organic materials have no place in the composter if they are actually not compostable. This attracts worms and they quickly lay their eggs and multiply rapidly.

This can go on the compost:

  • vegetable and fruit leftovers
  • Tea set with bag, coffee with filter
  • Debris from small herbivorous animals
  • leftover flowers
  • Tree pruning, shrub pruning
  • eggshells
  • lawn clippings
  • pine needles
  • windfall

Never compost:

  • Meat leftovers
  • Cat feces, dog feces
  • Babies' diapers
  • ash
  • weeds

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