Flies In The Compost: Should I Have Flies In My Compost?

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Flies In The Compost: Should I Have Flies In My Compost?

Every composter knows the woe of seeing too many flies in their compost. Seeing a large number of them buzzing around your bin can be annoying, not to mention disheartening when you’ve put in so much hard work and time into keeping it healthy. But should there really be that many flies? And is having some in your compost necessarily a bad thing? In this blog post, we explore the role these little critters play in vermicomposting and answer all related questions on whether or not an abundance of flies means something unhealthy is lurking within your bin. Let us dive right on in and get started!


There are a lot of things to think about when you're dealing with flies in the compost. Do you have too many fruit flies? We'll also provide some tips on how to get rid of fruit flies and keep your compost healthy!


First and foremost, it's important to understand that having a few flies in the compost is not necessarily bad. In fact, they help break down food scraps and contribute to healthy decomposition. The problem occurs when there are too many flies, which can lead to an unhealthy compost pile or bin and potentially even attract other pests like maggots or rodents.


To prevent fly infestations, make sure your compost is kept moist and aerated. Also, avoid adding too much food at once as this will draw in more flies and other pests. If you have a lot of flies present, it may be time to reduce the amount of food waste added while increasing aeration and moisture.


Do you have too many fruit flies in my worm bin?

There are several ways to get rid of fruit flies in your worm bin. One way is to place a shallow bowl of apple cider vinegar near the bin and cover it with plastic wrap or paper, puncturing several small holes in it. The smell of the vinegar will attract the fruit flies, who will then crawl through the holes and be trapped in the bowl. You can also place some banana peels or other overripe fruit near the bin since this will also attract the flies. Additionally, you can try putting a fan near the bin to create a draft that will blow away any flying insects (however this can dry out the worm bin too fast).

Bay leaves also produces a subtle scent that files hate. Other insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hat the fragrance of bay leaves. You can grow Bay Plants in the infested areas, to keep the flies away. Dried bay leaves are equally good in repelling flies away. We suggest using a couple at the bottom of your worm bin.

Finally, keeping your worm bin clean and free from rotting fruit on the surface will help reduce the number of fruit flies in your bin. tip: (Keep some dry shredded paper over the top of your worm bin).


How do they get into the worm bin, to begin with?

Flies can enter the compost bin in a number of ways. They may be attracted to the smell of rotting food, or they could hitch a ride on your clothing or other objects that you bring into the bin. Flies can also come in from open doors and windows if there isn't enough ventilation inside your composting area.


Are there other flies other than fruit flies that can get in my worm bin? Are they harmful to my worms?


Yes, there are other types of flies that can get in your compost bin. These include houseflies, drain flies, fungus gnats, and phorid flies. While these insects do not directly harm your worms or the compost itself, they can contribute to an unhealthy environment if present in large numbers.


In conclusion, having some flies in your compost is natural and can actually be beneficial. However, it's important to monitor the number of flies present and take action if there are too many. Keeping your bin moist and aerated, reducing food waste added at one time, and preventing flies from entering the bin by keeping browns on top of greens or lids closed are all great ways to help prevent fly infestations. With these simple tips, your vermicomposting journey should be a success!



What about the use of mosquito dunks in your water to prevent flies? I saw this on a Captain Matt video. Have you used anything like this?

Organizing Annie

Pre-composting a mixture of thawed out food scraps (excluding meat, fish, citrus or dairy products), used coffee grains and micro-shredded cardboard and newspaper, will help to eliminate or reduce the issue of flies. We just posted a video on this topic (Pre-composting in a Laundry Hamper / for vermicomposting): https://youtu.be/2HyxxekAWXo

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