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  • Donna

Rodent-proofing Our Compost Bin

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

This winter our compost bin began doubling as a rat restaurant and motel. I had never seen a rat during the two years we'd lived here. But then one day there one was, lying in the grass just outside the poultry enclosure. Tunnels appeared under the compost bin and emerged atop a pile of egg shells, tea bags, and clementine peels.

I don't mind providing a meal here and there but I do mind that rat urine and droppings can carry diseases transmissible to humans, like hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis, and tularemia. So yesterday I cut some squares of rabbit wire and laid them flat in the grass. Then I erected another compost bin on top.

Then I moved all the compost from the compromised bin to the new bin. I replaced a couple of the plastic rods with sticks that I pushed into the ground to prevent the bin from blowing over and help keep the wire in place. It was easy to poke a hole in the wire by using a piece of rebar to make way for the stick.

I was afraid a rat may be able to nose its way between the wire and the bin, but after adding the compost it was nearly impossible to lift the sides. I checked this morning and there's no evidence of rats. So I think it's going to work.


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