This year I got into homemade composting. I got a pile of free wood chips delivered. And I added kitchen scraps to it throughout the year from January to now. My goal was to have all of the wood chips break down and be ready for next season. So far, my experience is that it attracts a lot of insects - mainly earwigs and ants.
- Wetting the compost pile doesn’t bother the ants, contrary to advice on the internet.
- the earwig population boomed. They’re eating off the compost and reproducing. This causes two problems:
- The earwig population increase in my yard caused them to attack cantaloupes in the yard as soon as they ripened, and
- They make my compost shrink more than normal (meaning I’m losing compost)
I’ve been thinking of doing compost tumblers from now on. This would elevate the compost off the ground. And the compost can be thrown into buckets once finished. But I have a concern about whether they work as advertised.
Wood chips brought in a host of things my property had never seen before. More fungus began growing close to them. Wood roaches, ants, more worms became normal. The number of lizards, snakes, voles, and frogs increased drastically. Soil began to correct itself becoming more fertile and more alive over the course of 3-5 years in the locations with woodchips.
We have a compost pile for kitchen scraps. I don’t do anything to it other than throw scraps on. For the first year we had lots of bugs, but over time the microbes seem to have bloomed and work fast enough that the bugs get beaten to the food. So, no bug problems for several years now. I am no expert in composting so I don’t know if this is a common pattern or not. I don’t put many wood scraps in the pile.
When I need to make a new pile I will need to seed a bunch from the current pile so I don’t have to wait for the microbes to build.
So your point is that bugs and other life forms are normal when you add organic matter to your yard.
The wood chips were meant to solve my problem of
- difficulty finding brown material
- not having a large amount of material (kitchen scraps + brown materials) to start off with a large pile (which is required to get the heat up) .
By having a large wood chip pile, it solves that problem, because I can just create a hole within the pile, dump kitchen scraps, and put the wood ships back over it.
The brown material is supplied in excess. And the kitchen scraps heat it up each time I add to it.
I love the concept itself. Just hate that a lot of earwigs are inside of it.
That’s correct these things you mention are part of the natural system. We are the things not part of that system twisting the rules in our own interest. When natures system is corrected it is balanced but it won’t happen overnight. The first year i had serious regrets because wood roaches increased dramatically by the thousands so watch how close this is to your home. The end of the 1st year i saw armys of wolf spiders correcting the imbalance Within a year the preditors increased and i see a wood roach only under boards now. Wood ants and termites are part of the natural system so be careful around structures apply borders of termidor to ensure your structure does not become food. Tonight was beautiful so while the door was open i had this unwanted visitor stop by no doubt hunting the types of things your seeing. This bull snake is a baby now but soon be will be killing voles. A friend of mine once said it well “to control something completely is to kill something completely”. My family has always worked with nature not against it. Wood chips are not chipped but are logs in the forest which are eaten by termites and wood ants to make topsoil. These natural insects see the chips as food and shelter. Mushrooms eg. morels grow up from roots of certain dead trees. When all things are in balance bacteria, fungi etc. exist in large numbers and fruit trees produce abundantly.