evtubbergh
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Will composting kill pests?

Will composting kill mildew or rust? Will it kill scale insects or mealy bugs?

I have lots of ivy with some sort of mildew and citrus branches with mealy bugs. I also get scale insects in my new garden. If I use the material will I be able to kill it in my compost or should I rather dispose of it separately?

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applestar
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Re: Will composting kill pests?

I would not put those materials directly in the compost. But one way you could pre-treat them would be to put them in a plastic bag and leave the bag in direct sun to solarlize -- kill with heat of the sun.

I'm not sure how many hours per day or how many days would do the trick though. I hope someone else has a better idea.

When I have done this, I just left it for a week or so -- with some luck and depending on the material, they will dessicate rather than turning into goop, making them easier to handle when putting in the compost pile. If the plant matter is infested with lively/mobile pests, be sure the bag has no holes :shock: and to securely tie the bag closed :shock:

With branches and such, your best bet might be to burn them, then you can put the ashes in the compost.
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Will composting kill pests?

If you can, burn the infested branches. The bugs will crawl off cut branches so you have to be very careful disposing of them any other way.

imafan26
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Re: Will composting kill pests?

Most backyard composting is cold compost. Cold compost won't kill everything. I usually bag and trash diseased and infested plants and parts instead.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Will composting kill pests?

I think our diseases ivy will go into municipal rubbish then

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Will composting kill pests?

Oh yeah. English ivy is indestructible. I had some sitting in a compost pile for a year and when I pulled it out, it looked just as fresh as when it went in. I probably could have re-planted it and it would have taken off. As it was I trashed it as you suggest.
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