Composting is incredibly beneficial for the garden. It's a way to turn food scraps, lawn waste, and even paper into a soil amendment. But it's also incredibly beneficial to rodents if not handled correctly. Rats and other rodents are highly attracted to a compost pile, bin, or tumbler. It's not only a source of food but also a source of warmth.
Besides just being a bit freaky (who wants to stumble across Mister Rat while churning the compost) they can also carry diseases like leptospirosis. Though not commonly transmitted to compost, given the perfect circumstances, it can happen. That's why it's so important to minimize the possibility of a rat infestation in your compost. This can be done by choosing the right location, the right environment, and choosing the right composter.
We've found a number of rat-proof composters that we're going to share with you below. These will help keep the rodents looking for a more hospitable home-owner.
Rat Proof Composters
Rats often enter a compost area from below. So when thinking about placing your composter, a concrete slab is a great place to start. If no slab is available, think about creating a layer of pebbles or paving stones. A tumbler will stand above the ground, so they may be your safest bet. You can also create a plaster base with mesh to help the rats out.
Spin Bin Composter
This freestanding compost bin is raised off the ground, which is the first line of defense in protecting your compost from rodents. This is a 60-gallon barrel that rotates on an axis to help blend your compost inside. It rests on strong steel legs. The sure-grip lids on each end keep unwanted guests out. It has 20 vent holes for aeration and its dark color will help keep things cooking on the inside.
37-Gallon Two Chamber Tumbling Composter
Here's another raised composter that will foil the rats. This one has two chambers so your compost can be in two stages of decomposition. And with this speedy composter, you'll be turning it every 2-3 days to make compost in a few weeks. Your frequent visits to the compost pile will keep away the unwelcome furry friends. It has excellent aeration, sits on corrosion-resistant galvanized steel legs, and is made of BPA free plastic.
EnviroCycle Rolling Composter In Black Or Pink
This molded one-piece tumbling composter is built like a solid tank. It sits on a curved bottom place to make rolling it to mix your compost a breeze. And that base also serves as a way to keep the rats out. No assembly is required on this one, and it is also made of BPA-free plastic. Whether you want compost soil or compost tea (collected in the base), this is a rodent-free composting choice. Put two side by side to always keep compost available.
Hot Frog Rolling Compost Tumbler
Rats will be scratching their little furry head trying to figure out the way into this maze. This rolling tumbler from Hot Frog requires absolutely zero assembly on your part, just unpack the two pieces and you're on your way to fresh, hot compost. The small aeration holes provide needed circulation but not the needed space for rodents to enter. It also holds its own against raccoons and possums. It is made from recycled polypropylene and sits on a corrosion-resistant frame.
Mantis Back Porch Compost Tumbler
This totally enclosed composter design keeps odors in and rodents out. Little Rat Boy Blue will be scuttling on and away when he encounters this bad beast in your garden. The wheels on the frame make it super easy to load scraps wherever it's needed then roll the composter back to its cooking spot. A removable door is there for ease of loading and unloading, and an oxygen vent provides the air needed for circulation inside. It has baffles on the inside to help break up chunks of compost when you roll it and is easy to assemble.
Compact Compost Tumbler
Here's another model by Mantis that lifts your compost off the ground and away from troubling rodents. The barrel is made of a powder-coated galvannealed steel that is long-lasting and non-corrosive. The lids on each end are made of food-grade plastic for safety. The frame is powder-coated tubular steel for strength. There's an air vent at the top to keep the oxygen flowing and this composter will hold up to three 30-gallon trash bags worth of material. That's an awesome amount of compost!
Miracle-Gro Dual Chambered Rolling Tumbler Composter
Raised composters are the safest bet if you have a rodent problem. But maybe you want multiple piles of compost to be at lots of different stages of decomposition. Consider getting a line up of these easy to use dual-chambered rolling composters. They're efficient and easy to use and with regular turning will give you useable compost in as little as 4-6 weeks. It is made of BPA-free plastic and sits on raised steel legs for durability.
Indoor Compost Bin
One way to avoid the problem of rodents is to compost kitchen scraps indoors. This handy little indoor composter will turn your kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost tea you can feed your plants. It comes with a probiotic powder to help the scraps ferment more quickly. The molded plastic design means it won't leak or cause an odor problem indoors. It holds about 5-gallons of waste and is ready to use right out of the shipping box.
Recycle Food Scraps In The Kitchen
Here's another option for composting inside the home environment. This machine is multi-use. You can use it to compost food scraps like a regular composter, or you can use it to recycle pet waste. It comes with biodegradable waste bags, sawdust pellets, and baking soda which are used in the process. It does use electricity but powers for less than $3.00 per month. It will turn your food into scraps in as little as two weeks.
Congratulations! You've outwitted the rodents. No longer will they be happily cavorting in your compost pile causing mayhem and horror. They'll move along and leave your rodent-proof compost bin alone. Be sure to check out our other useful composting guides -