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Harvesting Compost and Roaches


September 11, 2022

I am cold composting in a 30 gallon plastic trash can.  I have been adding material for about 6 months and I keep the materials covered and I keep the lid on the trash can.  I am seeing a lot of cockroaches in the trash can now.  Is that OK?  When should I harvest compost?


Answer by JZ:  Your question will be received by a few of my colleagues, who may also respond.

Bravo on your composting effort ! Here are my thoughts:

I have been using this same technique successfully for several years. Note that I only drill holes in the bottom and around the lower edge see pics of Homemade Bins under Composting Info in our website main menu. What you first added 6 months ago may now be finished product at the bottom of bin. You may scoop it out with a hand trowel or dump the contents on a tarp then separate out the decomposed material. Undecomposed material goes back into the bin.  See next paragraph.

A variety of insects are a natural part of this and other composting containers. They are detritivores so they assist in the decomposition process.

So, in my opinion cockroaches are OK in the bin.  They will scatter when you collect finished product from the bin. Finished compost looks like dark chocolate cake crumbs.

Please let me know if this has been helpful.   Compost on.

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