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 Post subject: Rats
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 11:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:10 am
Posts: 2
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I want to try the compost in a pile, but I'm thinking it would draw rats. I live in a neighborhood, plus I want to avoid rats for myself. I know I can put the food scraps in the center and down under, but eventually in turning it ,partially decomposed scraps would be exposed and draw rats, wouldn't they? We eat alot of vegetables and have alot of peelings, ect. to dispose of on a daily basis. Also, drawing snakes seems scary. I see snake holes in my yard from time to time and don't really want to get close enough to determine if the things are poisonous or not. Should I talk myself out of my hesitations? I like the fact that the pile would draw worms. If I compost in a container, I know I have to buy the worms and keep it in the shade.


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 Post subject: Composting in Town
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
Dear Fellow City Dweller,
I know this will probably shock you :shock: but if there are rats in your neighborhood, they've already been in your yard too. Composting lots of kitchen material from vegetables will mean you need lots of carbon material (browns) too so that means leaves, straw/hay, etc. to balance the pile and keep the process alive. Mixing in molasses, wet or dry, speeds the process so the material breaks down faster, becoming more palatable for the smaller creatures, rather than the large ones. By the way - rats will eat earthworms if they have the opportunity.

Ditto on the snakes. The different types are everywhere, some more than others. I have four small snakes in my yard, and have seen a large one (rat snake) in the alley behind my very urban home. The more activity in the area, the less welcome they will feel and they will become scarce. A few years ago we had a wood pile in the back yard that turned up with a rattlesnake in it...surprised the heck out of us. But once in 20 years is a pretty low incidence.

What I'm saying here is that your concerns are probably real but you should give them much less weight in your consideration of whether to compost. The risks and drawbacks are much, much less likely to come to fruition than the benefits of having your own rich soil amendment and the pleasure of knowing your are recycling the most basic of materials.

Got a dog? :lol:
Kathe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
Posts: 806
Location: Weatherford,TX
To maybe ease your mind a bit, the holes in your yard are probably beneficial wasps. They are rather large (1"-2" long) but will not harm you. Also, vegetable scraps do not draw snakes; bugs & small vermin do. The bug eating snakes should be no problem if you spot one. Actually, they are kind of cute! :)

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 Post subject: rats!
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
Posts: 764
Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
We've had rats in our back yard in very urban west Plano. So have the neighbors, don't know if it's the same family of 'em or if we each have our own. They are never in the compost pile, however. It's not in the yard, but in the back next to the neighbors yard & our driveways. None of the neighbors have compost piles. The rats have made homes in the thick english ivy around & on the cedar fence. Also in our attic. I read that meat scraps would attract them but some say no. Would love to have a snake! Then there would never be rats!
Patty

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 9:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I have rats, snakes, and compost. I've never seen any one adjacent to any one of the other two. My compost should be very attractive to the other two since I bury dead animals in it, but they don't bother it. The secret is knowing how to bury the stuff. You need lots of browns to cover up any smells.

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