This is a quick update to the “creepy crawlies” we mentioned in our previous entry.

My dad went to see the organisms in person this morning and confirmed them to be beetle larvae – completely harmless and normal.

We figured they must have originated from the fallen leaves which we collected from around our neighbourhood. Moreover, we left the pink bin open most of the time, so rainwater and a mix of other natural elements might have enabled them to grow/reproduce.

If this bothers you, it would be ideal to exclude fallen leaves from your list of ‘browns‘ to be added in the compost pile.

Otherwise, the beetles could probably aid in the composting process in some way. We are not sure the exact breed of the beetle larvae, but they have been harmless and non-intrusive so far.

It might be interesting to note that after adding hay yesterday, the inside surfaces of the pink bin have become drier (less condensed moisture). The number of beetle larvae have reduced significantly too – we wonder where they have gone in such a short time span!

Next, there were mild smells coming out of both bins when the lids were removed this evening. This could probably be due to an anaerobic condition, since the lids were accidentally (absentmindedly actually) left on the bins for about 24 hours.

We have now added a bit more hay to both bins – once again yielding a completely odourless result. We dare say, hay is such a magical component in preventing compost odours entirely! According to humanure composter Joseph Jenkins, hay does act as an effective biofilter for smells.

But should hay be the be-all-end-all for solving compost odour problems in Singapore? Or could there be an easier alternative? Note that it is quite difficult for residents to get hay in Singapore, unless you are willing to spend on local pet stores like we did. For more information, do read our previous entry.

Joe and I will continue to keep watch on our compost bins. We are toying with the idea of getting a compost thermometer to help us better gauge the level of activity in our compost bins. This is of course not necessary especially in a tropical climate like Singapore’s, but we might want to purchase it for research purposes as we go about tweaking and finding out the best way to compost in an apartment.

More updates coming up soon!

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2 responses »

  1. Aaron says:

    The last pic is a dermestid beetle.

    • Joseph Solomon says:

      I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same insect here but we sort of came to the conclusion that it should be a Black Soldier Fly larvae. We might be wrong!

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