Sunday, June 13, 2010

Need advice

I need some advice about how to coax a critter out of my compost. Three years ago I bought a really sturdy black compost bin for my kitchen scraps complete with critter guard. For two years it was a fortress. Then one spring I returned to find a hole eaten into it and a completely rotated, aerated compost pile. The critter did not return until the following December, about the time I stop using the bin, so I decided on a live and let live attitude for this winter rental.

Well, this spring he/she has not abandoned the bin upon my return, but is still in residence. Not in residence exactly, but a nocturnal visitor let's say. I have read ideas about how to discourage visits ... keep the pile wet ... plant mint near the bin ... I even tried sprinkling a quart of cayenne juice on top of the scraps before covering.

Obviously I cannot plant mint overnight, but I did stuff some in the hole as a temporary solution.I am afraid that the critter of which I speak rhymes with cat, and I do not want to encourage visits from same. Anyone have any solutions, short of the obvious poisonous ones?

6 comments:

Ada said...

I've read that pure peppermint oil (not extract) discourages rodents of all types - they detest the strong smell. Maybe you could soak a few cotton balls with it and put them inside. Also, blood meal (get it at a garden center) smells like a predator so that might help if you sprinkle it around and inside the compost. It won't hurt the compost; it's also used as a soil nutrient. Good luck!

Leslie said...

great idea ... thanks, Ada

Rose said...

Rats will chew through your walls.

Really.

Get some bait and kill it before your home and outbuildings are overflowing with them. One rat = 1000 rats. Please don't play stink bait games with them. Don't worry, you won't be making a dent in the population. Just sayin...

marianne neill said...

Hi Leslie,
I have had some success with moth balls when rats were under an outbuilding, but I agree with Rose, rat poison or you will be overrun with lots of rats.
your friend Marianne

tagskie said...

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Leslie said...

I appreciate the warnings and admonitions. All good advice.