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 Composter smells 
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:21 pm
Posts: 3
Location: NSW Australia
Post Composter smells
Hi All,

Ive been lurking for a little while, there is some great info on here and its pretty hard to find accurate or indepth info on the net in general about BSF so this forum is a great help. So this is my first post.

I recently started a new composter. Initially using chicken pellets to get it started and most recently I added 10kg of spent brewery grains (I am also a home brewer). Since adding the grains it's getting really hot in the composter and has started smelling. It's almost a bleachy type smell now. Its just damp inside with no liquid exiting the unit.

The BSF larvae seem fine and there are thousands of the critters in there but are staying in patches where is cooler I think. I have been turning the grains over to try and get some air into it, but it doesn't seem to be helping. The unit was attracting more BSF to come and lay eggs but it is now also starting to attract house flies.

When the BSF initially invaded my worm farm (after I added spent brewing grains) they pretty much neutralised the smell straight away. Any idea on the best way to get rid of the smell in this bin?


Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:15 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
Posts: 2715
Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Composter smells
AH welcome to our forum and thanks for posting:) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

I don't have any suggestions about the smell problem but would love to hear a description of your system and see some photos.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:31 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:21 pm
Posts: 3
Location: NSW Australia
Post Re: Composter smells
Gday BW, here's some photos of my bin. I only built and started this one recently. I captured some eggs in cardboard and added them initially. The soldier flies also come and lay eggs though the top layer of shadecloth, either into the corners or dropping them straight through the top which drop onto the plastic that I have covering the larvae.

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I am also working on breeding unit so I can continue to breed them over winter in my shed.

As to the smell, I am thinking it might be an ammonia smell, so I have just been researching ways of neutralizing ammonia. Obviously it must also be something that does not affect the BSF larvae. I have removed the plastic that sits ontop of the food in the hope that it will gass off a bit quicker and I am also turning the pile with a trowel to keep it aerobic (although as with compost, this may actually heat it up further)


Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
Posts: 2715
Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Composter smells
Good stuff. Also we would love to add your location to our Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link). See the Range and Identification section (link) for instructions.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:22 pm
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