The Dog Days of Summer could also be called the Fly Days of Summer. And let me tell you, dogs are WAY cuter than flies. We posted last Summer with 5 tips that we think will keep your compost manageable, and we're back with three more this time around!
Sometimes it feels like flies are unavoidable. When I used to put my food scraps in the trash, the would congregate there. Now that I compost, I've kind of created a one stop shop for the flies to frequent. However, I have a couple of methods to keep them at bay. While there are no ways to guarantee that I can keep these pesky insects out I do have some great tips that work well for me.
1) Putting Meat, Seafood, and Cheese Scraps In the Freezer
You vegans and vegetarians probably never have to worry about this one (good for you), but black flies and house flies are attracted to meats, seafood, and cheeses and boy do they love them. A really good way to make sure that your compost doesn't attract flies and also smell is to keep these products in the freezer or fridge until collection day. Drop them in there at the last minute and it'll help a lot.
2) Use the Power of Citrus
For some reason, flies don't like lemons. You can squeeze a little bit of lemon juice around the lip of the pail and it should keep away black flies and house flies. This may however attract another type of pest - the fruit fly. To me, they are a lot less menacing, but pests nonetheless. Maids.com offers a few other plant-based scents that they say help as well - like lavender and cloves and wouldn't attract fruit flies.
3) Keep the Pail Cool
A lot of us like to store the pail outside in a garage or porch, but I think that just invites intruders. I recommend a nice cool area out of direct light - like under a sink - to store the compost. Make sure you keep the lid on nice and tight and you should be clear of too many pests finding their way to your secret hiding location.
Do you have other ideas of how you keep away pests? We'd love to hear them and our other Loyal Composters would as well. Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!