Rats!-- in the compost (could be mice...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Rats!-- in the compost (could be mice or moles)
Author: John Hamm
Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 3:47 pm
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Somebody's been tunneling into my compost bin and eating apples, etc. Entrances are about the size of ping pong or golf balls. I started out with a black plastic Soil Maker composter but soon switched to an open bin fashioned from four wood pallets. When that was about 1/3 full, I stuck the empty plastic bin in a corner of the wood bin to create a bin within a bin. The fresh compost remains steaming hot even on cool days and apparently quite attractive. Little guys are digging under old compost at the edge of the plastic and up to the top of the pile inside. I'm thinking of moving the plastic bin to another corner and setting it on top of some hardware cloth. Lifting the plastic up off of it's contents is easy, but pulling the wire mesh out from under a pile of compost could be a challenge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Author: Stephen
Friday, October 12, 2001 - 9:00 am
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Food and warmth? Those little guys must have found a nice little hangout. I hear that having rats around is horrible and disgusting, I wonder if that is still true. I don't think they are still carrying the plague, although they still may be carrying something.
Either you sit out with a bb gun and just reduce their population or you seal your bin off with some type of finer mesh screen so they cant get in. They get cold and hungry and decide to go into that house over there.
Rats, an age old problem.

Author: Curt
Monday, April 01, 2002 - 4:48 pm
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You could just get some traps and add the rodentia to the pile....

Author: Joe Jenkins
Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 11:56 am
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We had some kind of large rodent enter our compost pile a couple of years ago and we actually poisoned them with rat pellets (put the pellets in a hole - not in the compost but at an entry point on the ground - and then block the hole with a piece of roof slate). The rodents also get into our chicken house and wood pile and we gave them the same treatment - poison pellets at every entry hole coming out of the ground. It took a couple months, but they're gone now and we haven't seen them since. We have 4 cats and two dogs and the poison didn't affect them (it was always kept out of their reach and we think the rodents died under ground).

Author: Terry Todd
Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 2:40 pm
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I posted earlier today on another thread for cover materials. I had a question related to that thread but also a question about rodents. I won't use poisons as is suggested but have used traps. I just need to know if this is going to be a serious problem for me with rats getting into the compost pile? I explained that I live in the city and have a fairly large piece of property with fruit trees that the rats like. I don't want to end up with rats that are diseased due to there habitation in my humanure pile. I realize that with time the compost will be pathogen free but initially the fecal matter is not suitable even from healthy humans to have animals feasting on it. Please advise. We use rat traps when we need to in the house. It would not be possible to completely rid the neighborhood of rats that could access my compost pile. We have a long narrow property that is actually in fairly close proximity to houses on either side of us on a busy city street.

Thank you in advance for you assistance!

Terry Todd
Sacramento, CA

Author: Joe Jenkins
Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 11:02 pm
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Use wire mesh when building your compoat bins so rats can't get into them.

Author: Anonymous
Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 6:54 am
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Is it possible to contact R. T. in CT on page 201?

Author: Joe Jenkins
Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 6:31 pm
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Not really, unless he or she reads your email and replies.

Author: TCLynx
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 1:46 pm
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We don't like poisons because if a rat eats it but doesn't die right away and escapes the hole, the cat could get it. A friend had a cat die that way and it wasn't pretty. However there are plenty of traps that don't use poison. I think I would use the wire mesh first though. Most of the traps that don't use poison either risk fingers when setting them (and also cat paws) or involde disposing of a live rat.

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