Insects Serve a Purpose in Your Compost Pile - Green Tip #11
Not too long ago, a friend asked me what to do about bugs getting into the compost pile. Believe it or not, bugs are actually vital to the decomposition process.
Insects are as much a part of the food chain as are plants, birds, animals and even humans. Several species of insects are attracted to the typical compost components. These busy little critters range in size from microscopic to the more familiar roly polys and snails, among others. Each species goes about the task of exercising their role in the natural scheme of things, in order to do their part in transforming the components of your compost pile into the course, crumbly mixture which will eventually become nutrition for your garden. Yes, folks, bugs are good and should be left alone to go about their business! In fact, when hand picking slugs or other pests from your plants, throw them in the compost pile and let them join the party!
If you're finding bugs that give you the heebie jeebies, such as cockroaches and palmetto bugs in your compost, it's probably due to the mix being too wet or not stirring up the pot, so to speak, each time you add material, especially food scraps. Make sure you add brown material (newspaper, etc.) in addition to green material and mix thoroughly from bottom to top with each addition to help with distribution. And if the "icky" bugs persist, don't worry about it; they'll skidaddle as soon as you open the lid. They don't like you any more than you like them!
Shauna L Bowling
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The Role Bugs Play in the Compost Pile
© 2011 Shauna L Bowling
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