Compost is not my friend- mice!

(13 Posts)
Cathpot Fri 16-Sep-16 17:53:22

So my composting history isn't great , either I make a motionless twiggy heap (main heap) or a slimy heaving mass of fruit-flies ( compost bin). I've just lifted the lid on the compost bin where I put kitchen waste and came face to face with a large mouse. Or now I think about it possibly a small rat. Pfft.

I don't really know what to do this information on the basis that mice/rats live outside and it is outside, but equally I don't want to be feeding mice/ rats and cause some sort of plague event. Not sure what advice I'm after really. Going to sit down with cup of tea, been a long week and I have no room in my head for mice/rat issues.

BellaGoth Sat 17-Sep-16 06:10:16

We have mice in our compost bin. I'm not worried about it because my dad says if you have mice, you don't have rats. And I'd rather mice than rats!

I wouldn't be happy about rats in it though. We've put ours on a paving slab to stop rats burying under it. You could always just compost garden waste, rather than food waste.

Cathpot Sat 17-Sep-16 12:35:32

Yup. I don't think I can do anything about it really. On reflection , I think it was a rat given the size, but then if it's not in the house I suppose it's not doing any harm. It's sitting on soil and I never empty it it just sort of rots down and stops being full. I have no head space for inconvenient animals at the moment!

ReedBunting Sat 17-Sep-16 12:38:26

What are you composting? is it just raw fruit and vegetable bits or are you including other stuff?

MidnightVelvettheSixth Sat 17-Sep-16 12:41:47

Are you composting meat/fish/milk/dairy etc?

Cathpot Sun 18-Sep-16 22:45:27

Just veg and fruit and then garden plants.

Thewolfsjustapuppy Sun 18-Sep-16 22:54:27

I opened mine to a grass snake the other day. And we have a nest of mice. I don't mind mice and snakes but I would draw the line at a rat.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Sun 18-Sep-16 23:03:26

Doubt it's mice. It's a rat. Do not believe the 'green' shite that rats will only be attracted by cooked food. That's BS, I type from experience. Google any gardening forum re composting- most experienced gardeners will happily admit composting attracts rats. To them anything is edible. Sorry also to have to tell you that unless your compost heap us at bottom of garden and garden is two miles long, they will target your house too. I came down one morning last summer to find large sections of concrete chewed and removed around an air brick under the kitchen doors. Rats are everywhere but to survive in close proximity to your house they need: Food - compost heap - fuck recycling get rid of it ASAP. Water - got a water butt? Either drain it immediately or make sure there are no leaks etc and put chicken wire across top to stop access. Shelter - got decking? Check it and block holes with concrete, better still get rid. Sorry to have to tell you but if you've seen one rat, there's more and they're getting comfy. A paving slab under compost bin is useless, they will get in. The only way to get rid of them now before they get established is remove what they need to survive i.e. Food/water/shelter . I went through this last year and count myself lucky it worked before they decided my house was a luxury hotel as once they inside it's much more difficult to get rid. Good luck! PS forget traps/poison they're fucking geniuses at avoidance- you've almost got to admire them!

DoreenLethal Sun 18-Sep-16 23:07:20

Or...dont panic.

If you keep your compost damp, rats or mice will move out.

If you are getting a twiggy mess, you need to chop up the bits more

If you are getting a soggy mess, you need more browns such as paper or cardboard.

So chop stuff up more, add paper and cardboard and pop some water in every now and then. Job done.

grin I do like your style, Doreen!

I've composted for years - never had a problem with rats. My heap is always really damp. Also I put cooked food waste in my BOKASHI SYSTEM!! (Any excuse to mention it). And I try to disturb it regularly with turning, which no critter will like. More than anything, I think it's the approximately 30,000,000 cats in my area that prevent it, though. The compost is right next to my wood store, which has a felt roof, and there is nothing the neighbourhood moggies like more than lying on it in the sunshine.

I have, to date, never, ever had a rat or even a mouse in the house.

Cathpot Tue 20-Sep-16 18:25:00

Ok. I don't have the spare time or energy to rat proof compost or get a cat. Rat has been spotted as living behind the BBQ so if I get my act together I may put poison down or just take a laissez faire attitude and dress it up as friend of wildlife type thing. Thankyou for all replies- I will try and do better with my compost ratios of wet to dry , I will go and look up bokashi system and I may be back in 3 months with details of my rat plague.

cathpot - you can buy humane traps which do a surprisingly good job of catching the rats. My neighbours a bit down the road have chickens and they had one visiting - the trap sorted it out and they took it out to the middle of the peak district and dumped it!!

eddielizzard Wed 21-Sep-16 07:56:11

i gave up on composting food waste because of the mouse problem. i just compost garden waste and it's much better. you absolutely don't want mice outside if you can help it - they will eventually twig that your house is much better than the compost bin.

also, concrete under the bin - stops worms getting in there doesn't it? i thought you were supposed to put them straight onto the soil.

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