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Keeping the Critters Out of Your Compost

I've been composting for quite some time now, and I can honestly say that for the first few trials I was having difficulty keeping the area around my compost wildlife and insect-free. Composting is both a science and an art form, and I was foolish to think at the beginning that I could get it down on the first try. I followed all the directions, read all the web forums and even carried the 1 over to the other side, yet I was coming across the same problem: insects and animals were invading my compost! But now that I know better, let me share my experiences with you so that you don't have to waste as much time as I did on fixing the problem.

First of all, don't ever place any meat products, fatty foods, oils and bones in your compost bins, compost tumblers, or piles. This is a recipe for disaster since animals are generally attracted to these products and will be more than likely to dig around in your compost. Dairy products like cheese are also considered a no-no in terms of adding it to your compost. Not only do these products get smelly after a few hours, they also do not decompose well so it's best to just avoid these items all together.

To avoid this situation, be sure to use a tight fitting lid atop your compost bin, better yet, make sure it's rodent proof. As long as the lid is tight rodents like raccoons won't be able to jimmy the bin open and feast upon the cut-up fruit rinds and veggie leaves. In addition, remember to turn your compost pile a couple times a week to turn up the heat in your bin so that the organic matter can decompose properly; this will also help in turning off animals from you compost.

Since you'll be using fruit rinds, vegetable stalks and leaves along with other acceptable food wastes such as coffee grinds, you're bound to come across the problem of flies and gnats hanging around your compost (this also applies for kitchen composting). Work around this problem by covering up your compost and by adding brown matter (no, not that) to your compost. Yard waste such as dried up leaves, hay, cut-up wood chippings and even sawdust mixed into your compost will balance the nitrogen levels and mask the fruity odors. Using some already made compost or soil will also do the trick.

Learn from my mistakes and take these tips to heart. After all, there's nothing worse than looking our in your backyard and fining a zoo of animals nosing around in your compost bin like they've found the jackpot!

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Source: www.articlealley.com