Pest Control: Keeping rodents out of your compost can be faster and easier than you think.

If there are unwanted rodents living in your compost bin, the simple and effective way to keep them away is to put pest tissue on the floor.

The vermin net (also known as rodent net) is made of thick wire (about two millimeters) and has small squares that baby rodents cannot squeeze through.

While it will start to rust after about five years, it’s an effective way to compost food scraps without inviting all of the rodents in your neighborhood to move in at the same time.

The first step is to pick up a bug net at your local hardware store. We received it in a five meter roll because we know we will use it for little things around our property.

Some stores sell it by the meter – just give it a call until you find the best spot.


The process in steps. Pictures: Hannah Moloney and Anton Vikstrom.

Roll it out, put your compost bin on it, and cut the right amount you need. Keep a few inches ready around the entire container.

Next, cut the vermin net into a rough circular shape and then simply fold the net over the edges of the compost bin.

I used my boots to press them down firmly. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just strong enough to grab the edge, which is really easy.

You want to be able to take it off again (when your compost is ripe) so I made it pretty loose.

And that’s it! So quick and easy. The only tools you will need are some good wire cutters.

From here you can find your compost bin in a convenient location in your garden.

We placed our compost near our chicks and goats that we feed every morning. This makes it easy for us to drop leftovers there on the same trip.

You can also dig the compost bin 200 millimeters into the ground to create another barrier against rodent entry – but generally the pest net is enough to get the job done.

We also have a second container with a lid that is used to store dry carbon materials.

This makes it easy for us to add a small bucket of carbon to every bucket of leftover food that goes in.

We also make sure we shred our leftover food to the size of a 20 cent coin so that it crumbles faster.

For something that lasts less than an hour, kick yourself off what you didn’t do years ago.

Happy rodent-free composting!

  • Hannah Moloney and Anton Vikstrom are the founders of Good Life Permaculture, a landscaping and education company that regenerates lands and lifestyles.
This story, How To Protect Your Compost Bin Against Rodents, first appeared in the Canberra Times.