Rodent Problems - Is the HOTBIN Suitable?

Friday, 11 August 2017  |  HOTBIN Composting

I already have rats - Will I be able to use the HOTBIN?

When you already have an infestation of rats in your compost heap or garden, immediately replacing the old compost bin with a HOTBIN in the same location is high risk. You are taking away the easy food source (old compost heap) and just replacing it with food behind a closed door. The rats are going to get desperate and seek a way through the door and they will be highly aggressive in finding food once starving.

If you already have rats, it is much better to:

  1. Remove the old heap/bin and all food waste.
  2. Cease all composting for 2-3 months. Encourage the rats to leave the area first.
  3. For serious infestations (especially in urban areas) get the professionals in to trap and remove them first.
  4. If you have a rat infestation, when setting up your HOTBIN, you need to add extra protection: wrap 1cm square wire mesh around your HOTBIN to protect it. When the infestation has been cleared, then a correctly operated HOTBIN will not attract rats.

When setting up your HOTBIN:

Locate your HOTBIN on a hard surface - Place it on flagstones to avoid rats burying underneath and using it for a nesting site. Do not rest the HOTBIN on 4-small flag stones/bricks at the corners as this will just make it even easier for the rats to create a nesting site underneath.

Keep the door hatch panel closed - Hot odours rise however some odour can escape around the door hatch panel while the HOTBIN is being filled. Always ensure that the HOTBIN hatch panel is tightly closed. When replacing the hatch panel after emptying waste be sure to wipe around the edges of the opening and hatch to ensure no loose pieces of waste are left in the joints. Even small pieces of waste will create weak spot and the door will not correctly seal. This weak spot could be attacked.

Take extra care when filling the HOTBIN for the first time – Loose waste in the base tends to flow to the door and put more pressure on the door ‘pop seal’ than moist compost formed after a few weeks of use. The door joint has a tolerance and will open by a few mm under very high fill rates. It is very important you use both cam straps (supplied with the HOTBIN) to pull the door tightly closed before filling. You should not be able to see any waste through any gaps around the door panel.

Always clean up - Always ensure no food waste is left around the base or lid of the HOTBIN, this is a free takeaway and will attract rats.

Look after your HOTBIN - Repair any damage to the HOTBIN.

In summary, the HOTBIN has been designed to reduce its attraction to unwanted visitors and in 99.5% of cases this works. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee 100% that there will be no occurrences but we are continually working with our customers on how we can limit this through education and development.