Fruit Flies, Fungus Gnats and Maggots in compost
You will experience some common household pests inside your worm bin should you neglect it over time. Along the way, you may also be able to encounter annoying insects such as fruit flies, fungus gnats or even maggots in compost. So you might want to give your worm bin, and of course your worms some regular care and maintenance. You will certainly need to do this to help you keep your worm composter free from pests. Know these insects in more detail by reading more from this article.
Pests are typically drawn to the smell of wastes
These insects are usually drawn to wastes that are packed with nitrogen, all the more when it’s the decaying kind. Let’s take flies for example. When they do find something that attracts their sense of smell, they immediately look for this. Now if it happens to be your fully exposed red wiggler worms composter, then you’re in trouble. The adult fly will surely find organic scraps that it can gorge on, and will eventually leave its eggs on your compost. Now if you haven’t noticed this yet, and time passes by, their eggs will hatch, and will then turn into maggots. These young insects will then eat your compost. As easy as that. So one word of advice though: Always keep your worm composter closed. Your compost worms will also be grateful for that.
Pest # 1: Fruit Flies
Fruit Flies are typically the ones that you see hovering over your exposed fruits. So you can just imagine these insects flying in and out of a composting worms bin. These small objects won’t harm you in any way but they can surely be a big annoyance to anybody who sees it. Anyway, their bodies are quite round and their color ranges from an orange to light brown shade.
Now if you’ve already seen these insects by your red wigglers composter, then there might be a lot of fruit skins (especially banana peels) inside it. What you can do to get rid of these pests is to take these peels out. You can only add these back into the bin should there be no more presence of these flies.
Pest # 2 Fungus Gnats
Fungus Gnats are also of the flying kind, and are easily recognized for their black colored bodies. These pests are also very attracted to things such as fungus (thus the name) and moisture. And what better way then to feed their appetite is to swarm around a vermicomposting bin! But don’t be fooled as these insects can be both seen inside or outside of your home. They are that resourceful. So just like Fruit Flies, you can also get rid of these by taking out the things that they’re drawn in. But you can’t take out both moisture & fungus from your compost bin. But what you can do is to leave the bin slightly opened. What will happen here is the top layer of the compost will dry a little, whilst the lower portion of the compost will still be kept moist. These insects will now be drawn to the base of the bin rather than on top of it.
Pest # 3: Maggots
These 1/2-inch long, young insects are typically of a grayish brown color (the particular ones that are seen inside a red worms bin), and are very attracted to worm composters (just like fruit flies and fungus gnats). They’re actually good decomposers and won’t harm your worms but having them inside your worm bin will be such a big annoyance. But to experience maggots in compost, and getting rid of them at their peak will be harder on your end. So what you can do to be relieved from experiencing these common household pests further is to put in ample amounts of dry bedding materials. These will be able to soak-up excess moisture inside the composter. So if your bedding is drier (but not too dry though), then there will be smaller numbers of these insects being around after some time.
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