Allowing my compost to fzeree
I keep my compost in a modified 55 gallon plastic olive barrel. My problem is fruit flies in the compost. At least it is a problem to me. Every day when i take the lid off to throw something in I am swarmed by fruit flies.
I live in Austin TX and we have had a really mild winter thus far. However tonight we are expecting a freeze. So i was thinking about taking the lid off in hopes of the freeze killing the fruit flies. However, my worry is that i might do more harm than good with the freeze killing some of the good activity going in there. Does anyone know anything about this?
They are probably fungus gnats and not fruit flies. Those of us in northern climates often have our compost freeze solid all the way through. Beneficial microbes are slowed but not killed by freezing.
Take the lid off but do not be surprised if you have only a small kill and no damage to eggs in the compost. Thinning the little pests out a bit is better than nothing. Yellow sticky strip hanging near the compost barrel will also help reduce fungus gnats. Turning the compost helps bury gnat eggs and encourages their rotting rather than hatching in addition to the benefits from aeration.