Compost Culture: Critter Avoidance
- Bin Placement – keep bin away from bird feeders, trees or bushes with fruit or berries, and pet food bowls
- Compost Materials – We recommend a vegetarian compost. Proteins, fats, bones, and other animal byproducts are some items that make a compost bin smell and this attracts scavengers.
- Ratios are key – 2 parts carbon:1 part nitrogen is a good starting point (see our Compost Starter Guide). You’ll get to know your own pile the more you interact with it. Generally speaking, if your ratios are off, your pile may stink. Too much nitrogen is usually the cause, so add more carbon like shredded brown paper or straw.
- Trap in or bury odors – When adding to your bin, remember to keep the carbon materials all the way to the bin’s exterior edges, and kitchen scraps to the center. This will mask the smells of the nitrogen materials, while helping them to build heat for accelerated decomposition
- Make the bin and it’s contents difficult to get to – Barricade via fencing, or locate in a shed, use wire mesh/hardware cloth to make a bottom/lid, or strap on a garbage can lid. If they have to work for it, chances are they’ll keep moving.
- Turn your pile often if you are worried about odor. Depending on frequency and quantity of material added, this could be once a week. Passive composters may want to rely on adding more carbon.
- If none of that is working, one can always try Trench Composting
- And if in the very end you decide ‘this is just not going to work’, our local farmers are ready and willing to take your kitchen scraps. They have very specific rules, so please reach out when considering this option
Here is a fun article in Fine Gardening Magazine on what different types of animals are telling you about your compost pile.
And here is a link to TVCR’s Composting in Bear Country Guide
May you have a happy and successful critter-free compost experience!