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Roaches in compost?

Hey guys -

I recently acquired a compost bin, so after researching here and on some other sites I began making my own pile. Over the last week or so I have seen a few cockroaches in the pile when I turn it - has anyone else experienced this? My nightmare is that it will turn into a huge cockroach nest with mutant roaches.
Texas Gulf Coast

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I found a little baby one in my bin too... TOTALLY creeped me out... I know that all sorts of bugs have a role in breaking down compost material, but roaches are the one insect that just give me the heebie-jeebies. Would love to hear others' thoughts on this... I will be moving my bin to the very back of the property, half an acre away, if there's a good possibility of a mutant cockroach nest *shudder*!
Julia in Georgia

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cockroaches in compost

It's where they belong (NOT in the house!). They are detritovores, part of the breaking down cycle. That said, I've done cool/warm (not hot) composting for years and I frequently find one or two smallish cockroaches in the pile, but I've never had tons of them. And they go away when the food is gone, so they are never in the finished compost. So it's not a problem. For various reasons, it is a good idea to have your compost pile away from the house--it can attract other critters also, mice, raccoons, etc.

If it totally creeps you out anyway, then you need to work harder to be sure your pile heats up, which will drive them away. Read in this forum more about how to run a hot compost pile. OR compost in a closed tumbler bin.

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Location: Lake Jackson, TX

OK great! My big fear is that they would end up in the house - attracted by the compost pile. A few roaches, or any other bugs in the compost pile, don't bother me. I just worried that I was going to attract some huge roach nest that would end up in my house. Also I have an extremely batty old neighbor who is so nosy and looks for anything to complain about, so I didnt want to have a roach infestation!

Texas Gulf Coast

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turn baby turn

Regular turning of your pile oughta keep ants and roaches to a minimum. Faster compost too.

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