Green Spot

Keep Rats Out of Your Compost

Follow these tips to keep rodents away from your compost.
  • Do not compost any meat, fish, cheese, oils, or greasy foods. 
  • Do not compost pet feces or cat litter. While the use of chicken manure is common, rodents will be attracted. Do not compost manure if you have a rodent problem. 
  • Bury food scraps in the center of the pile and cover with a layer of yard/paper waste to suppress the smell. 
  • Place bin away from other rodent food sources such as bird feeders, pet food bowls, garbage cans, and fruiting trees or bushes. 
  • Place bin away from rodent hiding spots such as stacked wood piles, brush piles, sheds, or other outbuildings. 
  • Use a store bought rodent-proof compost bin such as an on-the-ground bin with a bottom or a tumbler.

How to DIY Rodent-Proof a Compost Bin

This is how to rodent-proof your on-the-ground compost bin. Remember, tumblers are automatically rodent-proof by design. 
  • Prevent rats from burrowing under the compost by putting a bottom underneath your compost bin. For best results, look for a compost bin that comes with a rodent-proof bottom - not all of them come with one! 
    • If your bin did not come with a bottom, you can lay down ¼” to ½” hardware cloth/wire mesh underneath your on-the-ground compost bin directly on the ground. This will allow worms and helpful organisms to enter your compost pile while keeping pesky rodents out. Secure the hardware cloth/wire mesh to the bin with zip ties or lay bricks or rocks on the wire to keep it from moving around. Check it occasionally to make sure critters haven't moved it. 
  • Cover open vents with ¼” to ½” wire mesh. 
  • Make sure to use a lid.