Pests, Flies and Vermin

Quick HOTBIN question and fast answers

Will I get ants nesting in the HOTBIN?
Ants have a small part to play in the composting process. The presence of nests is a sign that the waste is too dry. In our experience,we have not had ants in HOTBIN – it is too hot and humid to attract ants.
Is the HOTBIN rat proof?
Vermin control experts indicate rats can and have eaten through almost everything at one time or another including all plastics, metal wires and concrete. It is impossible to state or guarantee the HOTBIN is ‘100% rat proof’. The HOTBIN is designed to NOT attract rats and to be ‘rat resistant’. Read more.
Do I need worms in the HOTBIN? Can I add worms to the HOTBIN?
You do not need to add worms in to the HOTBIN. However, worms are beneficial to composting and can be added. Do not add them into the upper active layer (60°C will kill them). Add worms via the hatch panel. If you find worms crawling on the walls, they are too hot - collect them up and try adding them via the hatch door.
Will I get slugs & snails in the HOTBIN?
Some species of slugs feed on decaying organic matter so can be a valuable part of the composting process. Most do not eat dead plant, it they get in they either will die quickly in the heat, or be making an exit up the walls.
Will I get creepy crawlies in the HOTBIN / compost?
Many small creatures are helpful in composting. Some can get via the garden waste; those that survive in the heap are beneficial to the heap. Most creepy crawlies will not tolerate temperatures above 40°C - they migrate out of the heap or down to cooler layers.
Will I get a wasps nesting in my compost / HOTBIN?
No, wasps occasionally build nests in dry compost heaps. The compost in the HOTBIN remains moist and any wasps will not survive the heat.
Will I get (house) flies in my compost / HOTBIN?
No. Houseflies are attracted by the odours from rotting food (especially meat). Keep the HOTBIN lid closed. The heat will kill flies and maggots.
Will I be assailed by masses of tiny 'fruit flies'?
No. Your HOTBIN has a tight fitting lid, so the only time flies can get in is when it is open. The flies are unlikely to enter when you are tipping and if you are unlucky to get one in, do not worry, the heat will kill flies and any larvae before they hatch. In our testing, we have yet to experience fruit fly problems.
The reason other bins have fruit fly issues is the odour from rotting fruit attracts the fruit flies, they enter via numerous holes and poor fitting gaps in lid. The eggs laid in the food, hatch and a swarm of flies exit when the bin is opened.
I have small red spider mites on my HotBin bin lid do I need to worry?
No. Compost spider mites eat dead plants and are beneficial in the heap. They are very small (less than a pin head) and can be brown or reddish depending on maturity. (Do not confuse them with the very similar looking red spider mites that eat tomato plants in the greenhouses - these mites will die very quickly when added to heap). The compost mites migrate away from very high temperatures (>50°C). They are small enough to get through the filter lining and can appear on the lid. They do no harm, and you will find they come and go. If they bother you, brush them off with cloth.


9 June 2020  |  HOTBIN Composting

Is it ok to use a HOTBIN in a garden that has seen rats before? Yes, as long as you take precautions and correctly operate the HOTBIN.

11 February 2019  |  HOTBIN Composting

Although an uncommon issue, discover why you might see flies near the HOTBIN. Eliminate flies and maggots by understanding the types of fly, how they may get into the occasional HOTBIN and discover ways to get rid of them once and for all.

23 March 2018  |  HOTBIN Composting

99.5% of HOTBIN users report no issues with rats and remember our users compost meat and left over cooked food. There are steps you can take to minimise the risk of rats.

20 March 2017  |  HOTBIN Composting

Nothing is rat proof and rats always pose a risk to composting. The HOTBIN however has been designed reduce the attractiveness of the product to rats by restricting their access to their three basic needs. Therefore it is safe to add cooked food waste as long as you are hot composting.