Where do the insects in the compost come from?
It is normal for your compost to harbor different types of insects and other earthworms which also participate in its decomposition. They are good indicators of the condition of the compost. Contrary to popular belief, they are a sign of good health. For example, when you start to see cetonia larvae or manure worms, the compost is ready to use.
These larvae absorb harmful organic elements, digest them and release them into healthier material. While midges and flies feed on the compost and lay their eggs in it. When you see them around the compost, it is in bad condition.
All these insects are attracted to overripe fruit and peelings that are in the open. The midges proliferate very quickly, they quickly become very annoying. Their larvae then develop easily in a very favorable temperature and humidity. Certain starchy foods also exert a very strong attraction on these insects.
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To remedy this situation, here are some tips:
Controlling compost humidity
It is important to ensure that the compost is moist. If the preparation is too dry, the microorganisms die and the transformation process is interrupted. If the compost is too wet, then it attracts midges and flies. It is therefore necessary to control the humidity level. A good compost should have a structure equivalent to a pressed sponge. There are effective ways to do this:
- During the first two months, regularly mix your compost.
- Alternate the composting of dry waste such as twigs, straw, dead leaves with more humid waste.
- Each type of organic matter should not exceed 20 cm.
The acidity of the preparation should also be controlled and not too great. Put a few crushed eggshells or a handful of ashes in the composter once a week.
If the compost is too wet : do not deposit any more waste for a few days. Cover it with paper or cardboard.
If your compost seems too dry : Soak pieces of paper or cardboard in water and place them inside. If you have mowed your lawn, the mowing will also be perfect.
At the bottom of the bin, place a layer of cardboard to absorb excess moisture and then you just have to alternate layers of dry and wet waste.
Protect the compost from the sun
The composter can be exposed to the sun throughout the year, but in summer it must be sheltered from direct sunlight. It is preferable during this season to place it in a fairly cool area, this helps to regulate the maceration of waste.
Limit sugar waste
You should also know that the fermentation of fruit juice attracts them irreparably. These insects like flies love to lay their eggs in sweet waste. If you eat a lot of fruit, here’s how to prevent the proliferation of midges:
- Wrap any leftover fruit in cardboard or paper wrap.
- Place them at the bottom of the composter.
- Then cover them with other waste.
This method can also be used for leftover meat or fish. Try to limit sugar waste especially in spring or summer.
Compost waste very quickly
Usually, midges and flies like to lay their eggs on waste material that begins to rot. The faster you put them in your composter, the less likely you are to attract them. The worms will then have plenty of time to do their work before the midges invade it.
While waiting to bring them to the composter, pay attention to how they are stored. Put them in a perfectly sealed bucket that closes well and keep them in the refrigerator. Midges and flies cannot lay eggs in it. This is even more true in summer, when food breaks down faster due to the heat.
Choosing the right composter
The composter must not be in the form of a perfectly sealed container. It must be equipped with many openings, especially on the lid to limit darkness and to regulate the temperature inside. This is very important since midges are particularly attracted to heat, darkness and humidity.
Regularly and quickly open the lid of your composter so that flying insects have time to fly away.
Clean the edges of the composter
The inside of the lid and the edges of the composter are the preferred areas for midges when they want to lay their eggs. If you want to avoid them, we advise you to clean them regularly.
Cover the waste
The easiest way is to cover the waste with cardboard or wood chips. It must be put on all the waste and the different layers. We must count on 50% cardboard for each pile of waste. The latter can be replaced by dead leaves, straw or even potting soil.
You can prevent sciarids, small black flies, from prowling around your compost with these few tips.
Read also : How to get rid of midges in the house?