Gnats In the Compost

January 25, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living :: (3) Comments

beijing wom compost bin prep week 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: kafka4prez

I have a small, ceramic, kitchen scrap bin that I use for collecting compost material. Normally I dump it out every evening and wash it out. This system has worked great, up until now. Suddenly there are gnats flying all over the kitchen.

Since the Mr. isn’t the compost and gardening type, he’s suggesting that i ditch the whole thing. He was willing to put up with it until now, but bugs in the house crosses a line for him. For me too, but I’m certain there is a way to keep kitchen compost scraps without gnats or other bugs. There has to be a way, because no one else is talking about the little flying things in their houses.

My plan right now is to dump and wash more often. I’m hoping this won’t be the long term solution. I hate thinking about washing the bucket after only a couple banana peels, it seems like such a waste of water. I’m also not too keen on heading out to the bin several times a day. I have to keep it far off to the back to keep the landlady happy, and I’d rather keep that trip down to 1.

Everything I’ve read so far talks about cleaning the entire house with bleach to get rid of the buggers, but I’d rather avoid the harsh chemicals. Of course getting rid of my kitchen scrap bin would work also. I wish I had a good lid for my pot, but when I bought it at the thrift shop there was no lid. I’ve been just draping a hand towel over the top instead. Clearly, that’s not working.

So, does anyone have any tips for clearing out gnats that doesn’t involve chemical cleaners? Or getting rid of my compost bucket?

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3 Responses to “Gnats In the Compost”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Wish I did. I had the same problem and for the moment, until I find a better solution, I have stopped saving food scraps in the kitchen. I think that a larger covered container right outside the back door would probably work, but we’re in the middle of construction right now, so that’s hard to implement at the moment. I can tell you that if you cover the jar with a plate instead of a cloth, that will help a lot. But it really has to go out every 24 hours. My (wanna be) compost pile is pretty far from the kitchen too, so I’m with you on not being able to troop out there 6 times a day….I’m interested to see if anyone has a good solution for you…

  2. pat Says:

    I went through a similar scenario, trade in the open bowl for something with a lid on it. I went to our local second hand store and for $1.50 got an old closed top ice bucket. It has a plastic liner in it and a handle you can carry like a pail. Best of all it has a snug lid. Then I sprayed the whole kitchen area in lysol spray-result is no more gnats. Good luck!

  3. Tara @ Go Green St. Says:

    Let me share with you what I do…. I put all scraps into a bag I keep in the freezer! Every few days I put it outside into a compost pile. Before it has a chance to thaw or get stinky or attract bugs it is gone from the house!

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