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The compost is an ideal habitat for rodents. Not only is there an abundance of food here, but the unwanted visitors also benefit from the protected and warming environment.

secure compost

When setting up a compost rack, you should take appropriate precautions to prevent house rats, brown rats or mice from gaining access. Lay out a grid mat on the ground. This should have a mesh size that allows macrofauna such as earthworms and beetles to crawl out of the soil into the compost substrate, but no rodents can get through. An ideal compost heap consists of a grate, wire mesh, and lid. This ensures optimal ventilation and keeps unwanted residents away.

Tip: Build your own lid by covering a slatted frame with close-meshed wire.

prevent odor formation

Rodents are attracted by smells. If the compost smells intensely foul or smells are released through fermentation, the animals will quickly find the new food source. Even when storing kitchen waste in collection containers, you should keep the formation of odors as low as possible. Sprinkle some baking soda over the substrate regularly, because this natural raising agent binds odors. Empty the collection containers on the compost heap at least every two days and pay attention to these measures:

  • Distribute vegetable waste and fruit over a large area
  • Loosen up with twigs from hedge trimmings, leaves or wood shavings
  • Cover waste with soil, plant material, or ready-made compost

Do not compost leftovers

Mice and their relatives are more common when the composter is filled incorrectly. Substances that are difficult to decompose, such as meat and sausage, cheese or cooked leftovers, do not belong on the compost heap. Such waste is a favorite food for rodents, which are omnivores.

Tip: You can compost leftovers in a worm bin or in the Bokashi bucket before adding the decomposed substrate to the thermal composter.

Favor hot rot

The warm temperatures attract mice and rats to the compost mainly during the cold season when it gets too cold in the area. Thermal composters ensure even rotting even at low outside temperatures and generate heat, which rodents are happy to accept. The subtenants only flee when there are intense temperature fluctuations or when the temperature is too hot or too cold. To create uncomfortable conditions, you should regularly process your compost:

  • frequently rearrange to allow outer layers to get inside and be heated
  • Digging causes temperature fluctuations between the layers
  • inside, temperatures rise above 40 degrees, so that rodents are driven away
  • pay attention to balanced moisture

Rodents often disturb

It becomes uncomfortable for the unwanted lodgers if the compost heap is disturbed frequently. A well-managed compost not only improves the conversion rate, but automatically keeps mice and rats away. If the daily removal of the lid is not sufficient, further disruptive measures are recommended:

  • Complete at least twice a year
  • in winter pierce the substrate more often with the digging fork
  • disturb noise-sensitive rats with noisy noises or with restlessness

Avoid food sources

If the rats can no longer find any useful food in your compost heap, they will look for alternative food sources. Do not store yellow sacks outdoors, because the animals are also attracted to leftover food in yogurt cups. Store the rubbish in inaccessible rooms until it is picked up and make sure that rubbish bins are always closed tightly. Birdhouses filled with different grains enrich the diet of rats and mice in winter. In areas with a high population density, you should refrain from winter feeding the birds. Also check the surrounding area for possible attraction points for mice and rats and talk to people about the problem:

  • overflowing garbage cans in apartment blocks or next to restaurants and canteens
  • Feeding places of pigeons and ducks where leftover bread accumulates
  • openly stored rubbish bags at fairgrounds

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