We have an open compost bin, in which I toss leaves, grass clippings,
and food scraps. The squirrels in our yard steal all the food scraps
from our compost bin. The compost bin is located in a natural area
filled w/ oak trees, and of course many, many acorns. I would like to
keep the squirrels away from my food scraps, so that my compost may
benefit from the nutrients. The squirrels won't starve..they can eat
all the darn acorns they want.
Any ideas to keep the squirrels out of the compost? Should I be
cautious about any specific things I might add to the compost to deter
squirrels ie: if I put cayenne pepper on the food scraps would this have
any affect to my lawn next year when I spread cayenne infused compost
Why not relax and let 'em steal a bit? I have an open compost pile,
and figure birds and ants and squirrels ('though I haven't seen any
picking through for goodies) pretty much help themselves as
decomposition/re-distribution proceeds. There's still plenty of
compost produced. It sounds as if you're going to be making extra work
and problems for yourself by trying to restrict dining opportunities.
Save the hot pepper for chile/chilli.
I'm not sure this will work for you, but I already have some composted
in a fairly advanced state of break down. When I go to dump vegetable
I dig a small hole in the top compost layer, dump in the stuff, and
cover it up with
the dug out compost. This has a multiple effect of first helping to
odors of the fresh stuff, helping to break it down faster, and generally
new material untasteful to any critters. I also try and cover that with
weed/plant material to again help discourage any digging. As a last
measure, I wedge
a board between the sides of the pile (in my case a wooden frame with
gaps to allow
air penetration) and the freshly buried stuff, to make it harder to dig
up. I have
been doing that all summer with little, if no sign of critter activity.
I use an old metal 5 or 6 gallon can that I cut out the top and
bottom. I put the kitchen scraps in the can and put a piece of plywood
on top of the can. Then I put a good size rock on top of the plywood.
That works. It keeps out the squirrels, crows, foxes, coyotes, dogs,
cats and so on. I only do this now in the fall, throughout the winter.
Spring and summer I don't do this because these critters don't seem to
bother with the compost pile. BTW, the metal cans are Thompson water
seal cans. You need to cut out top and bottom so you can put the stuff
in and so the liquids can drain down into the soil while it rots.
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