Following up on the RAT question. (I...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Following up on the RAT question. (In BALTIMORE, MD USA)
Author: Md_heath (Md_heath)
Friday, January 14, 2011 - 2:59 am
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i am composting in Chad, Africa, in the middle of the bush, within a few hundred meters of 2 villages and rats are commonplace. We are composting restaurant waste, biosolids, and cardboard, wood, and yard trimmngs. i have never seen a rat bother with our compost. maybe it is because we turn the windrows and they are almost always above 40C, but vermin, vectors and pests of any kind are simply non-existent, both day and night. and we are talking about 2 ha of land and thousands of kg of food waste involved here.

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Sunday, January 09, 2011 - 12:58 am
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PLEASE DONT DO IT. A terrible idea.

When it rains the water will drench your pit. This will turn your aerobic system to anaerobic, cooling it down and turning it into a stinking polluting mess.

The water will cause the pile to overflow and thus pollute the surrounding area.

The polluting mess may now also come in contact with soil causing potential ground water contamination.

As if thats not enough consider:

The wire mesh now being in contact with soil will rust out very fast - very likely in less than 2 years.

Determined rats have ben known to get thru wire mesh.

Buried pile will be harder to monitor, harder to empty.

PLEASE DON'T DO IT.

To control rats see my post below.

Author: Mighk (Mighk)
Saturday, January 08, 2011 - 7:46 pm
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Does anyone know of any good designs to prevent rodents from infiltrating a pit system? Could i not just bury wire mesh around the outside of the hole and keep a lid on top of the hole?

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Monday, March 22, 2010 - 1:43 am
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Rodents have lived in harmony with nature for millions of years. People are destroying the planet.

But -

Mulchs, piles of weeds, open compost piles, piles of junk and (probably sawdust piles) may attract voles, mice, rats... They find shelter, warmth and sometimes food.

Keeping grass short as a barrier around the piles may help.

You can build a rodent proof compost pile -

One quarter inch hole hardware cloth (a wire mesh) enclosing entire piles (include top and bottom) is one option. The material is stiff enough not to need framing.

Or build a container out of cinder blocks, but line the bottom and top with same hardware cloth.

The wire mesh will eventually rust out, plus determined rodents have been known to get thru even wire mesh !

Moniter the area for rodent holes. Over the holes place baited (peanut butter, peanut, carrot ?..) snap rat traps under a bucket. Drill one or two 1.75 inch diameter entrance holes in the bucket rim and put a rock over the bucket.

Check traps daily or at least every 2 days.

Tip: Handle trap with rubber gloves to keep human scent off the trap.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 5:05 pm
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Here is a suggestion for dealing with household scraps, etc., which might attract rats.
How about putting those scraps into a rat-proof bin of oldish, ready-composted material, and allowing the scraps to pre-compost them before adding to the main pile?
A further thought, as I write this, is: are rats the real problem we make them out to be? They obviously do a great job of recycling muck. If left to do that job in their usual habitat, i.e., the drains and dark places, will they in fact cause problems for your food? Is it easier to put your food into rat-proof enclosures, instead of the other way around?
Food For Thought, so to speak, but please don't rat on me!

Author: Joe (Joe)
Friday, March 19, 2010 - 9:32 pm
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Here are some nice rat-proof compost bins. These photos were sent to me by a Humanure reader.




Author: Estull (Estull)
Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 10:39 pm
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We just put together our bin (not the fourth side yet) and I am starting to get a bit paranoid about all that nice hay and food scraps it is going to offer the neighborhood rats.

In an old thread here, Joe J. suggested "use wire mesh when building the bin" but I am not sure how to do this, and my book has gone missing, if the answer is in there.

Is it necessary to put wire mesh on the sides, before the bin is filled? So far we just have the bottom layer of hay in there.

We have never seen rats here but we live in the city (Baltimore, MD) and our next door neighbor had a little rat family living in his backyard last year, in some old ivy-covered railroad ties that made thewall for a garden in which he had dug holes and buried scraps. He got rid of the railroad ties but still buries scraps and also throws bread out onto his lawn from time to time.

When we made the bin, I made dirt hills on the inside and outside in order to seal up the cracks where the bin met the ground.

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