Getting rid of gnats in your vermicomposter
Vermicomposting? For those who are still unaware of this concept, it is a natural and ecological process that consists of placing worms in a receptacle. They will feed on the organic waste you produce when you prepare your meals. Once the organic matter has been absorbed, the worms will reject odourless material that has the consistency of compost. This is called vermicompost. So, is everything idyllic in the world of vermicomposting? Sadly, no. It is possible that gnats may appear around your vermicomposter which can be difficult to deal with in a flat. Here are our tips to help you avoid such a situation.
The principle of the vermicomposter
No need to live in the country or own a garden to have ecological practices. It is quite possible to own a vermicomposter in your flat. The principle of this method is simple. All you have to do is place worms in a container, the vermicomposter, which will feed on your daily waste such as vegetable peelings, coffee grounds or tea bags. Once the worms have finished digesting, they will release an odourless substance: vermicompost. You can use this material, for example, to repot your plants. The operation of a vermicomposter is very simple: you place bins on top of each other to create a healthy rotation between your different tubs. This ensures that the vermicompost is always maturing, while your waste must be placed in the top compartment. It's also good to know that the last part of your bin is where you find the liquid fertilizer, which can be called worm tea or vermicompost. You will be able to recover this substance very easily thanks to a tap.
How to avoid midges?
Vermicomposting is an ecological technique that allows you to obtain compost by working your worms. Nevertheless, it can happen that midges appear in your vermicompost. It is possible to get rid of them by doing some preventive work. When storing fruit and vegetables, it is important to keep them away from possible midges. To do this, do not hesitate to use a screened bell or a special cupboard. You can always store your fruit and vegetables in your refrigerator. This is not recommended to keep them in good condition, but it will ensure that you are free of gnats. It is important not to leave your peelings out in the open as the midges may arrive quickly to feed and lay their eggs. This type of waste is conducive to their proliferation.
To avoid the appearance of midges, remember to put your peelings directly into your vermicomposter or to store them in a closed box (preferably iron or glass), but do not let your waste decompose inside it. This is because the vermicomposter's ecosystem is designed to hold fresh organic material and not material that has already been attacked by fungi or bacteria. In summer, if the heat is there, you can also leave your waste in the cooler area to keep it longer and prevent it from decomposing in the open air.
You can also install a filtering barrier that will allow the midges to get out of the litter, but they will not be able to get in. To do this, spread a layer of soil (2-3 cm) around your vermicomposter.
How to get rid of gnats?
First of all, it is important to know that midges are attracted to humid, acidic and nitrogen-rich places, all of which you can find in a vermicomposter. In this sense, it is important to quickly remove the food to prevent them from coming since if your litter is infested, these insects will develop more easily. When you decide to take action, you will need to put your hands in the vermicomposter and remove the infected larvae that are there. This should be done in all your infested litter boxes. You must therefore remember to clean the edges of your containers and the lid properly. In addition, do not hesitate to remove sweet waste from your vermicomposter since it attracts midges. When you do this, remember to air your litter, as this will allow the moisture to dissipate and allow the midges to fly away. However, the cardboard method can be effective. Placing small pieces of cardboard in your bedding will absorb the moisture and provide the carbon necessary for the proper functioning of your vermicomposter. Once you have decided to do this step, remember to mix your litter well in order to homogenize it and aerate it. This will have the advantage of keeping away any midges that may be present.