‘Get rats!’ Gardening expert shares warning over food in compost bins – ‘even egg shells’

Gardeners’ World: Expert shares tips on rat deterrents

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Compost bins are a great, inexpensive way to produce food for your garden. Not only does it save you money but it also improves your soil and reduces your impact on the environment. Many people dispose of all sorts in compost bins from vegetable peelings to grass clippings.

However, gardening expert Emma Crawforth of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, has warned that any type of food could attract rodents.

She said: “If you put food waste in your compost bin, it will very probably attract rats.

“Never put food waste in the bin, even egg shells.

“To stop rats gaining entry to a bin, line it with chicken wire and add a tight-fitting lid.

“Or you can buy rat-proof bins ready made.

“Apparently, rats hate sudden loud noise so banging the bin lid when you go past might deter them.

“Call in a rat catcher if the problem persists and always wash your hands after handling compost.”

Other materials you can dispose of in your compost bin is tree leaves, newspaper, printer paper, garden waste, cardboard and vegetarian animal manure from rabbits, cows, horses and hamsters.

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Compost bins will speed up the decomposition of organic matter by providing proper aeration and moisture retention.

Over time, the organic waste you put in the bin will turn into compost.

Some bins allow you to keep adding waste to them while others will require you to create batches out of set ingredients.

The best compost piles will be hot in the middle which should deter rats from wanting to gain access.

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The moisture should also be a deterrent for rats if they’re looking for shelter.

Compost bin owners will need to turn the heap regularly to add air and help create the compost.

The composting process will slow down if there is not enough air and too much moisture.

You can buy compost bins fairly cheaply from a number of retailers.

Plastic ones are the most common but you can also buy wooden bins and ones with worm farms.

The Range sells an Ecomax Ward 220 litre compost bin for £19.99, while Wilko does a similar version for £25.

You can buy a 573-litre Suttons Modular Wooden Square compost bin for £119.99.

If you fancy purchasing one for worms, you can buy the Tumbleweed 3 Tray Worm Cafe from Primrose for £144.99.

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