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Old 05-30-2018, 08:40 AM
 
32 posts, read 22,244 times
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Seems that our compost bin has attracted rats in the backyard of our townhouse. We found about 4 of them last night and so far have trapped them in an empty trash can and hoping they die. It will be a gruesome death no doubt.

Am planning a stop by Home Depot to pick up some repellent and traps.

Do you think we need to call in an exterminator at this point?
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Bowie but New Orleans born and bred
712 posts, read 911,012 times
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IMO, you should probably address your compost bin first since it'll keep attracting rats in its current state. I believe the rats are able to smell the food waste that you have in there. Assuming you're composting the right materials, are you using the right mix of browns vs greens? Also, if you've not burying food scraps within the pile in your bin, try doing that since it'll make the attractive ingredients harder for the rats to smell. Good luck
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:17 AM
 
32 posts, read 22,244 times
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Yes I am going to dump it and start over I think. It is a very small compost bin, so they don't have much to feast on.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
6,017 posts, read 6,584,364 times
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If you haven’t seen (or heard) evidence of them inside your house, you probably don’t need an exterminator. Get rid of the food source and the rats will go someplace else.

The folks that I know who use a compost bin do so well away from their house. Personally, I don’t think a townhouse yard allows sufficient distance.

And FWIW, if I were your neighbor, you attracting vermin would tick me off.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:33 PM
 
2,720 posts, read 4,893,277 times
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Why not call your county’s animal control to see if there is a more humane way to deal with this than imposing a “gruesome death”?
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:32 PM
 
18,040 posts, read 8,195,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
If you haven’t seen (or heard) evidence of them inside your house, you probably don’t need an exterminator. Get rid of the food source and the rats will go someplace else.

The folks that I know who use a compost bin do so well away from their house. Personally, I don’t think a townhouse yard allows sufficient distance.

And FWIW, if I were your neighbor, you attracting vermin would tick me off.
^^^^This.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:03 PM
 
1,270 posts, read 1,592,377 times
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Hi Danielle –

I agree with other posters that you should not be trying to maintain a compost bin in a typical townhouse yard that usually would not suffice as an average parking spot.

I feel your pain and went through the same thing as you. I was gifted with a composting bin kit, so I put it together and set it up in my 1/10th acre yard. I faithfully fed it with kitchen veggie scraps. It took about three weeks before raccoons, possums, rats, squirrels, and mice were visiting me regularly to chew the plastic bin to shreds and help themselves to on site dining and takeaway. They strewed rotting foods scraps around my yard, down the driveway and across my neighbor’s yards. That in turn attracted all kinds of buggy pests and stank. (Feel the neighborly love. NOT.)

After two compost bin replacements, I finally gave up on that notion. But I did buy a posthole digger, steel driving rod, and steel kitchen compost container. Now I dig holes in my yard and bury the scraps at least six inches or more deep. If you bury it far enough, no stank, and varmints will not dig it up. In six months you have deep rich crumbly soil, mad amounts of earthworms, and flowers and veggies love it like nobody’s business. I bury kitchen compost around the yard perimeter in summer and in my flower and veggie beds in winter. Rule of thumb – no meat scraps, no citrus. Onion, garlic and potato scraps are vigorous sprouters from nothing much, so I have an enthusiastic veggie garden without really trying.

You need a respectable amount of yard that is noticeably bigger than a postage stamp. So good luck with that.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:59 AM
 
1,147 posts, read 989,479 times
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I had a compost bin in a townhouse back yard. You need a heavy duty trash can and you just drill small holes all over with a power drill. You do need the heavy duty trash cans because they can true through the less thick ones. It worked great for us. No rodent problems once we fixed.

Also, have some balls and kill them properly rather than leaving them to bake/starve/dehydrate in a friggin trash can. Get real.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:22 AM
 
1,138 posts, read 841,429 times
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Get them out of the can first of all.
I'd call an exterminator: what if you get bit by an angry, half-dead rat.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:27 AM
 
179 posts, read 113,315 times
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I'm just surprised to learn there are townhouse communities that allow residents to keep compost bins.
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