Other than worms what are some animals I would find in a compost pile?



  1. 0 Votes

    Some bugs that may get into compost include: ants, sow bugs, pill bugs, and earwigs.

    Sow bugs will be helpful in breaking down the compost, but should be removed before the compost is used as they may harm plant roots.

    Ants and earwigs will not negatively affect your compost, but they may be sign that is decomposing slowly.

    To remove the bugs, simply spread in a thin layer over a tarp and leave it in the sun.  The bugs will leave it.  

    Source: http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s1-3-79-361,00.html

  2. 0 Votes

    Sow bugs and pill bugs are some of the larger “detrivores” you’ll see in a compost pile, along with centipedes, millipedes, and beetle larvae.  You may also see “potworms”–small, white worms about 1/2″ long.  These are enchytreids, cousins of red compost worms. 

    Some of the most important compost critters are microarthropod “shredders” like orabitid turtle mites and springtails. These tiny insects are about the size of a mustard seed, but they’re the main organisms responsible for breaking leaves and plant fibers down into small pieces that can be attacked by bacteria and fungi in the pile.  

    You may also find fly larvae (small maggots) from fruit flies and fungus gnats. Larger, segmented fly larvae (about 3/4″ long) are soldier fly larvae.  If you put meat scraps or excessive nitrogen (green materials) into the pile without balancing it with carbon (brown materials), you’ll get housefly larvae and foul odors.  People are often surprised to find maggots in compost piles made with nothing but grass clippings, but flies will lay eggs wherever they find enough nitrogen to sustain their larvae.  With brown materials layered in, bacteria monopolize the nitrogen before flies can get to it (the second web site below has information about balancing carbon and nitrogen in compost piles). While part of the natural composting process, fly larvae do peel away some of the nitrogen from your pile, so it’s good to take measures to discourage them.

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