My Compost Bin Was Invaded: Can We Make This Work Again?

You know how despite having a failure garden and being very lax recently on actually cooking, I like to fancy myself an urban homesteader. And one of my biggest sources of pride has been my compost bin. I’ve been composting in the city for about five years, saving pounds of kitchen scraps from the landfills and creating my own garden fertilizer. It’s been strangely fulfilling and I have even posted about how simple it is.

I’ve also posted about how my house has been taken over by mice. Do you see where this is going? Well, we didn’t think about it until this week when my husband discovered that the bin is actually a hub of rodent activity. And at that point, saying goodbye to the bin was non-negotiable. And just in time for gardening season. I was not happy.

So I reached out to my eco-friends for solutions. And I found a couple reasonable ideas:

1) Get a compost tumbler. We were using an open bin which was really just an invitation to critters. Tumblers like this one for under $100 are enclosed and at least claim to be rodent-proof. I think we will give things a few weeks to calm down in the backyard and then invest in one of these and try to start over.

2) If we still have problems, local services like Bennett Compost will pick up our compostable scraps weekly for only $15 a month and even give you a finished bag of compost for gardening. That’s the same price as my Sirius internet radio service which I could probably live without.

3) Plant some mint around the bin. That might work for about half the year. Also I haven’t had too much luck using mint oil to detract mice, but it certainly can’t hurt.

4) The last piece of advice I got was to try not to sweat it if things just don’t work out. We can’t do it all right? So I will do my best to honor my intention and make this work. But if it all goes to hell again I will certainly keep you posted!



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