As summer rolls in, it’s common for our compost bins to gather odours and critters more easily… but don’t worry, we’re here to give you some tips on the best pest-free summer composting practices for fresh and clean composting year-round!
Finally, another (no-brainer, but often forgotten) tip for pest-free summer composting is to close your recycling bin lid after every use! It seems obvious, but as we do our service runs we see many green bins where people have forgotten to close the lid. Not only can this attract insects, but also birds can be drawn to the materials inside. If you’ve ever seen a bin that’s been ransacked by seagulls, you’ll understand how important a closed lid can be!
Food scraps degrading into rich summer composting material.
The above suggestions are all great tips related to your compost bin. However, the reality is that the best way to eliminate pests in your summer composting program is to avoid having them make a home in your space in the first place. In particular, fruit flies love being part of your composting program.
You’ve probably noticed these little tiny brown insects roaming around your bananas and that’s for a very good reason. Like us, fruit flies have preferred conditions that attract them into our kitchens. By identifying what is bringing (and keeping) them into your environment, you can make changes to keep them at bay.
We’ve created a handy checklist to help you determine the source of the problem:
It doesn’t take much to keep a fruit fly healthy and happy. They can often sustain themselves from a wet sponge or cloth in the sink, and a few spare grains of sugar someone forgot to wipe off the counter. (Despite how annoying they can be, we have to respect their resilience!
If you’ve answered Yes to any of the above questions, you’ve created an environment where they can thrive.
Fruit flies typically come home with you from the grocery store – usually as tiny eggs in the skins of fruit. It doesn’t take long for them to appear, either. Fruit flies and maggots have a life cycle of 48 hours from being laid to hatching when at room temperature.
You may have noticed they can often make a home in your sink drain. If that’s the case, sprinkle a little baking soda in and around the drain. Then pour a 1/4 cup of plain white vinegar in and around the drain as well. You’ll see the baking powder fizzle (don’t add too much of either, unless you want to create a small volcano in your sink!). That should eliminate any eggs that could be hiding in there.
So in summary, by keeping your counters clean, freezing your fruit peels before composting them, keeping fruit in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it, and drying your damp cloths, you’ll make your space inhospitable to your unwelcome flying guests.
There you have it! With a few small adjustments, we can continue to compost year-round without a smell or a pest.
Let us know if you’d like to learn more about setting up your composting program, or how we can make your recycling programs more simple, clean and convenient. We’re here to help!