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Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely ugly: Useful info for sure!

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Forum: Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely uglyReplies: 6, Views: 32
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Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

December 20, 2012
7:13 AM

Post #9362910

Thanks dear for your info. I do appreciate all the time and effort you and the other writers put forth. This has encouraged me to compost again.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

December 20, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9363219

Yeap, I did know on hot summer evenings after I have stripped the corn off the cob - let it lay for two seconds and those flies come in like crazy.

But the Coffee grounds are good in compost'that is new and I thankyou for the information! The Myths article back this summer here on Dave's garden said it did not make much difference and in some cases the coffee grounds could cause some problems for certain plants. So I stopped saving and dumping my coffee grounds around my plants.
Now you tell me it is excellant for compost. I do see the difference in the two ways of doing things which I had not before.

That beetle larva you have a picture of - is in the dirt too. When I find them when planting things it is my pleasure to put them in a can and feed them to the chickens.

But I did know on hot summer evenings after I have stripped the corn off the cob - let it lay for two seconds and those flies come in like crazy.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 22, 2012
9:46 AM

Post #9364664

Thanks to both of you for being among my dedicated readers and 'commentaters' !
8 ^)

Liquidamber- I read all the Myths articles- I must go back and reread what there was about coffee grounds. What comes to mind most for me is that when they're fresh and wet, they can be really dense, and then they may dry crusty. I'd keep the texture in mind when using them.
It might be said in general, that a solid mass of any one organic things might have its own special considerations. But most can play well with the rest of the compost if you mix them.

I'm not sure what it is about fresh corn cobs but yeah...yuck!
PermaCycle
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

December 24, 2012
3:29 PM

Post #9366232

Hi, Sally. Valuable info for all gardeners. Crickets, too, are wonderful guests in a compost bin. They can chew up a mass of leaves and other carbons not reduced by heat in the pile in just a few weeks. To attract black soldier flies, I've found that putting a few pieces of soft fruit and veggies on top of a handful of soil in a shallow vessel in direct sun where it decomposes quickly is a magnet for the soldier fly female to lay eggs. Once the decayed materials has that decomposed smell, but still retains moisture, just dump it in a dark corner within your compost bin and soldier fly larvae will be present in no time. They love the dark, but inhabit the top 4-6 inches of the pile. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can withstand higher heat in a pile than other pile inhabitants.

Of course, there is that "ick" factor with fly larvae (maggots) that most people must overcome, so a gardener has to be prepared psychologically for the significant number of "maggots" he/she is likely to find. It took me years to learn to attract them successfully, but having them in a pile accelerates composting by several weeks. Now, I overwinter BSFL in a large plastic insulated compost bin, and populate other composting units with larvae the next season when necessary. Much more info and the merits of BSFL can be found at several Web sites.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 24, 2012
4:25 PM

Post #9366256

Thanks PermaCycle- that's all good information there.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

December 24, 2012
9:17 PM

Post #9366459

Merry Christmas Sally G;
I sure hope you are ready for it.
I hope I am, the holidays are just a good reason to cheat on a diet and get them all sick, and Iook forward to getting back the regime.

Nothing like talking about maggots on Christmas eve - both of you are just true gardeners!
JfAJ
Montague, TX

December 25, 2012
12:02 PM

Post #9366833

Good article. I suggest the flies are attracted to corn cobs the same way children are. (I used to suck them dry). They contain sweet juice, and maybe a little alcohol. Also, they have quite a sweet aroma.
A note about chickens: mine have access to my pile of organic discard; most bugs don't have a chance when it rains or I straighten it up.
Also, I have found (for years experience) that coffee grounds are very beneficial to compost, particularly earthworm mix (with newspaper).
My wife and I used to both smoke and put butts and ash in - disappeared in a week! Don't know about bugs though.

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Other Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely ugly Threads you might be interested in:

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What about fungus in compost? RikkiM 1 Dec 24, 2012 2:55 PM
Compost Buggies and others things too minpin3165 1 Dec 26, 2012 8:56 AM
if you have wood lice....... SoooSirius 1 Dec 28, 2012 8:42 AM
Cockroaches! Ugh! herbella 1 Jun 13, 2013 5:13 AM


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