Sunday, July 20, 2014

Compost Critter Control

We have a recycled plastic compost bin next to the deck in the back yard.  It's about three feet tall with a snug fitting, sturdy lid.  The domed lid has a hinged door on both sides, but if you're not careful raising the door panel the plastic hinges come unseated.  I think it's easier to lift the whole lid off when I'm adding scraps.   A couple of times in the past few weeks when I've gone out after breakfast to throw coffee grounds in the bin I noticed the lid laying on the grass.  The first time I attributed it to Son Donald forgetting to put the lid back on. The second time we'd had a strong storm the night before; I figured the lid had been crooked and the wind blew it off.

Yesterday Hubby Tony organized an event that provided catered bag lunches.  He ordered a few extra in case people signed up at the last minute (no one did), so when it was over he brought home two bags that contained chicken salad sandwich meals. We decided to eat them for dinner, but hours later the buns were soggy and unappealing. We transferred the chicken salad to a bed of fresh spinach. After dinner I tossed the soggy buns into the compost bin.

This morning the bin lid was once again laying on the grass. When I looked inside the buns were gone. Something had visited our back yard and helped themselves to a snack!  Whatever the critter was, it had to be big enough to reach up and knock the lid off, then strong enough to climb inside and get back out. I'm guessing it was a raccoon or an opossum.

I didn't put anything other than coffee grounds in the bin today, so I can't imagine a critter would find anything appealing.  Just in case they were tempted to check it out again tonight, though, I added a large layer of shredded paper on top of everything else. Think they'll get the message they're not welcome?

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like raccoons to me. The closest thing to opposable thumbs outside of we two legged. And strong, too. Let us know if they just remove the newspaper and carry on.

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    1. The shredded paper was undisturbed this morning when I tossed in more coffee grounds (with filter), green pepper seeds, and a banana peel.

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  2. Nope! I think they'll check back every night. They're nice like that! haha.

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  3. I think you have a problem...but glad the sandwiches didn't go to waste!

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    1. I think I'd rather the bread broke down into compost than going to fill a critter's belly, but I guess in the big picture what I want isn't important.

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  4. I use a big trough used to feed cattle for my compost. The crows love it! I think they discourage the other critters.

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    1. I'm AMAZED you don't have a wide variety of animals. Maybe the campers scare them away?

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  5. I'm guessing it was raccoon too! Apparently, we have them here too, but I've never seen any in the neighborhood.

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    1. Racoons are most active at night....

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