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Roaches and Mice in My Compost


October 15, 2014

I have heard from those considering to make a compost pile decide against it because of it becoming food source for the mice & cockroaches.I do see this problem in my own compost pile & I would appreciate learning how to deal with this while trying to keep the compost uncontaminated by insecticides.


Answer by JE: First, mice and insects are two different things in my mind when it comes to compost.


To avoid mice you can make it a hot pile which requires

1. Turning the pile more frequently - once a week or so

2. Making sure the pile never dries out

3. Starting with a pile 3 feet by 3 feet

Compost in a container such as a tumbler but a tumbler is a build it once and don't add more until it is finished.

You can also try worm or bokashi composting in a container.

You can also see mice as part of the composting process.


I am not worried about insects as I see them as part of the composting process. I just keep my pile away from my house. However if this is an issue for you try hot or container composting.

Answer by JZ: Mice are sometimes attracted to foods in a compost operation, e.g., meat & cheese.  So such food could be left out. Adding leaves, garden residue & clippings, paper products to a compost operation (properly managed) will produce a fine finished product.

Roaches are part of the process, hard to eliminate.   Choices for a homeowner who wishes to avoid these insects might be pit / trench composting right in the garden soil and / or worm bin composting and/or Bokashi bucket composting.

You are welcome to attend any of our free to the public classes posted here:    NMSU: Bernalillo County Master Composters: Classes/Activities for the Public

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