Compost is a natural source of food for larvae. Vegetables or greens are rich in nitrogen once they begin to decay. The content is what makes organic waste such a good farm fertilizer for plants. However, they also form good homes for the black soldier larvae, a type of grub.
The larva’s presence aid in the decomposition process by assisting in the breakdown of the natural materials in the compost.
Removing the larva from the compost becomes a leading question for many compost makers. Before deciding to eliminate, it is important to determine how they come into being all over your compost first.
What facilitates the growth of maggots?
Waste made up of food substances is the likely culprit. All the waste originating from your kitchen is enticing to flies as it provides a warm and wet environment that supports its growth. The larvae not only have food but the best surrounding for growth.
If the waste comprises excess greens or vegetables, the compost becomes much moister, creating a perfect maggot habitat. Therefore, seeing these in your compost should be regular or normal practice.
How do I get rid of the grubs?
These are natural consumers of waste and complete the ecosystem. However, their presence is not one that many celebrate. Many find maggots to be gross and do not want their presence in their compost. If you are already fighting this fight, you may want to go further and uncover the many ways to eliminate them from your compost completely.
Adding more browns to your compost
Compost made up of food waste is wet or moist, which is their major condition for thriving. Some browns added to the compost can help the food waste dry up. The drainage process prevents the larvae from forming as there is no food to eat, and the moist conditions are unavailable.
These browns include waste, such as fallen plant leaves: sawdust, corn stalks, or hay. If living in a town or across a busy street and no plant waste like leaves are available, consider adding some paper waste. They range from paper towels, writing materials, paper plates, and more.
Choose to add lime
Lime is a major component of compost, but it messes up with the pH levels. Since compost dries and decomposes naturally, there is no need for you to add lime. However, when you are dealing with excess larvae, it is advisable to use it.
Many of them direct that you add:
- A single lime full cup to approximately 25 similar cups of the compost you are making
- Pine needles contain a similar composition as lime and will also work efficiently to remove the maggots
- Citrus foods are highly acidic and will also mess with the compost’s pH levels, effectively eliminating the maggot menace.
Pick one of these and free yourself and your compost from worms.
Protect compost from Flies
Maggots are baby flies. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent flies from settling and laying eggs in your compost. The eggs morph into larvae increasing decomposition and losing the compost quality you desire. Since compost requires a continuous flow of air, it is crucial to find a way that prevents flies from getting in while the decomposition process is ongoing.
Many bins contain breathing holes for the compost. Ensure the holes are large enough for air to go through but prevent flies from penetrating. Achieving this is simple as all you need is a thin mesh with small spaces that allow air through but captures flies. By preventing the flies, you eliminate the chances of them laying eggs.
Continuously turn the compost
Compost is a mass of chemical reactions allowing different waste products to decay and decompose into natural or organic fertilizer. The environment in which the process is occurring is not under regulations. Thus, some parts may be warmer than others, increasing the decomposition process.
To remedy this situation, you have to turn the compost every once in a while. Turning regulates the temperature, ensuring decomposition on each end of the compost. Also, it mixes the compost thoroughly, leaving no whole sections eliminating chances of larvae growth.
Remove the Larvae
If they are not too many and the compost is a small quantity, removing them using your hands makes sense. Some of the above processes may be tedious for a small compost. Since the worms make good bird food, all you need is to wear your farming gloves.
Cover the compost
Compost bins are open at the top, which offers flies a chance to lay eggs. However, covering the top with dry waste such as chippings from papers, thick layers of dry leaves or grass limits the flies’ access to the compost. Also, they suck out any moisture preventing larvae growth.
The cover should be around 4 inches thick on the higher side. However, a 2-inch depth can also work to eliminate the worms. Any holes that are not under a gauze present a maggot challenge. Use shredded papers to cover these holes and prevent breeding.
Other means of preventing breeding using adult flies include:
Covering the compost using caulking compounds. These are waterproof and quite thick, eliminating any breathing space for these insects. All you need to do is press the compound into the bin, press the screen, and taper the ends.
You can always let then live
Larvae are some of the best catalysts for compost. Using them to increase the rate of decomposition ensures an earlier use for your manure. These worms breakdown the waste components fast. As the compost owner, all you need is to create a comfortable environment through which these insects can live and reproduce.
Birds of any type, including chicken, hunt the grubs and feed on them. The larvae form nutritious food for other animals you may be keeping in your compound or property. Having them around adds to their usefulness.
Keeping the larvae may result in low-quality manure or natural fertilizer. It lacks the qualities that make it organic such as the earthy fragrance, also, worms can be scary and repulsing to many causing much discomfort when in use. Besides, they do work in areas where the temperatures are low.
Getting rid of worms or maggots follows a strict process when using either of the above techniques. The aim is to improve the environment that maggots like by increasing draining, turning and mixing compost and adding acidic or base components to disturb the pH. Eliminate these alarming worms by feeding them to your pets or animals, including birds.
All these steps work effectively in eli9minating the chances of larvae growth in your compost. Also, they save the embarrassment of having flies lining up in the backyard, kitchen, or compost heap. Besides, preserve the quality or your organic manure by getting rid of all the larvae.