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Compost Piles: Do They Attract Insects?

compost and nutrient-rich soil go hand in handOne of the easiest ways to get rid of kitchen scraps and other organic waste from around our homes is to compost. Maintaining a healthy compost pile doesn’t take much space or attention. The benefit is nutrient-rich soil that develops in just a few months and can be used to improve soil in gardens and around the yard.

Composting reduces the amount of solid waste that would otherwise go to landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 20% to 30% of what we throw away is organic material that can be composted. By composting, we get good soil and cut down on what goes to landfills.

A compost pile doesn’t need fancy equipment, just a space in your yard or garden that isn’t too wet or too sunny so that the organic materials will get the right amount of air and water to decompose quickly. The climate in the Houston area is ideal for composting: not too cold in the winter and enough moisture throughout the year to achieve ideal decomposition conditions. You can use a bin if you live in an apartment or don’t have much yard space. Some people buy them; others use recycled materials to make them.

Almost all organic material from around your house and yard can be added: kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and filters, grass clippings, leaves, twigs, branches, and even shredded newspaper and cardboard. A few things shouldn’t be added: animal droppings, used kitty litter, and kitchen meat scraps.

Alternating yard waste and food waste with a layer of soil in between creates healthy compost. As the material starts to biodegrade, it will produce heat. Turning the pile every few weeks speeds up decomposition and keeps the mixture healthy.

A healthy compost pile has worms, grubs, mealy bugs, larvae, slugs, and other insects. These critters help break down organic matter and aerate the soil. If your compost has unwanted flying insects, add a layer of grass clippings over fresh vegetable scraps. You don’t want rats, raccoons, and other unsavory predators that may be unable to draw the line between your outdoor compost pile and your kitchen with all its attractive foods and smells. Bury new food scraps in the pile or cover them well with grass clippings and a layer of soil to discourage unwanted pests.

Even the best-maintained homes can be attractive to unwanted insects, rodents, and other pests. ABC Home & Commercial Services in Houston provides pest control for both indoor and outdoor environments. We use a multi-step process to identify entry routes into your home, breeding grounds, and food sources, then recommend a treatment plan that includes sealing entry points, trapping rodents, or treating areas infested with insects. We explain our findings and ensure your questions are answered before we begin.

We also offer full-service lawn care, from mowing and landscaping to fungus and insect control. Call and talk to one of our specialists about how we can help you keep your yard attractive and your property pest-free.

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