Here’s a cheery little thought that you can meditate over: have you ever opened up your compost bin and find all sorts of little critters ambling about in there? I can tell you that I have, and from what experience and many composting teachers have taught me, most of the time that’s normal and okay. Little roomies like fruit flies, fly larvae, and even worms will show up to feast upon the yummy organic matter you have stored in your compost bin. Even though you may not have sent out an official invitation, it’s kind of funny to see these little critters going to town in your compost.
How does it happen? Well, most of the time you’ll get visitors just by opening up the lid of the bin. Fruit flies will definitely show up if you’ve got fruit rinds and vegetable stalks in your compost. If you noticed them flying out of your bin when you opened it up, don’t worry, the flies probably flew through the aerating holes of the bin. Most of the time the flies will lay eggs in your compost and they’ll hatch, which may be another reason why you keep seeing them buzzing about. If you find that there seems to be an entire colony of flies and bugs hanging about your bin, again don’t worry. This happens in the beginning stages of composting, especially if you have a slew of fruit rinds in the bin. Once everything starts to decompose, there will be less and less fruit flies hanging about.
If you keep an open bottom compost bin in the ground for easy compost tea evacuation, you may have noticed some worms wiggling about in your bin. This is absolutely fantastic since worms are a vital part in the composting process. As the worms are wiggling their way around you compost bin and back into the soil, it speeds up the process, which results in rich, black soil. For an added benefit, you should add a pound of red wiggler worms in your compost bin in the beginning just so the composting process is sped up. Once there’s nothing left for the worms to munch on, they’ll move out of your bin and burrow about in your soil.
Critters like bugs and worms aren’t always a bad thing; for composting, they’re essential! Think of it this way; as long as they’re not bothering you and helping out with the composting process, everybody wins!