Q & A

Welcome to the Planet Natural Garden Forum! Whether you’re new to gardening or have been at it for some time, here you can search existing messages for answers to your questions or post a new message for others to reply to. If this is your first visit, please read over our forum instructions carefully before posting. Enjoy!

  • How can I keep rats out of my compost?

    Created by eyelean54 on


    How do I control persistent rats (and raccoons)? I have several anaerobic metal compost bins hidden behind my pallet fence. Initially, I punched holes in a couple of the bins and buried them halfway. Despite this, rats were relentless in digging down to any depths to get at the liquid. Having very judging and objecting neighbors (who threaten to call the health dept), I am reluctant to punch holes in the rest of my bins. However the liquid in the bins is building up and impeding the composting process.

    I have set up contained plastic baited rat traps. Those work but the rat parents repopulate using my stone wall as a rat condo. Periodically I flush them out with water and then re-plug the tunnels. The rats stay year round. Rats are a local problem as I live on an island that has no natural predators like coyotes etc.

    What measures can I take to keep the rats and neighbors away? I have all of our trash in tightly secured bins. No birdfeeders either. None are fazed by our dog. It would be nice to all coexist!!

    Would appreciate any suggestions or ideas. Thanks in advance.

  • Author
  • #256551

    Eric Vinje

    Hello –

    The best way to keep rats and raccoons out of your composting system is to reduce the conditions that attract them. Here are some suggestions:

    • Limit table scraps, meat, fish and dairy products, and use mostly lawn and yard waste in your bins.

    • Rodents do NOT like wet living environments. Water the area around your bins frequently and keep it moist.

    • Keep your bins sealed to prevent access.

    • Rodents do NOT like to be disturbed. If possible, discourage them by increasing the activity around your bins.

    • Traps, repellents and baits — use caution around your dog — will help reduce pest numbers.

    Good luck!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.