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Cockroaches In Compost

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Cockroaches In Compost

Post  lbmcse on 11/22/2015, 4:16 pm

About 2 years ago I obtained a wheelbarrow full of compost from the Solid Waste Authority in West Palm Beach, FL.  The compost was HOT when I got it.  It sat in a wheelbarrow on my back porch until now.  I've been adding clippings and watering periodically but when I set forth to amend it and dump it in the 4x4, I discovered that the entire lot is infested with cockroaches. 

Now I know that beetles, earthworms and all sorts of other creatures are beneficial to the soil for the aeration they bring to the party; but was a bit put off by this discovery.  Maybe I'm just overreacting; but does this compost need to be dumped out? 

I'm ready to mix worm castings, rock dust, peat moss, and vermiculite into the compost before planting, but the question looms. 

I've got to admit, I never knew that roaches were soil burrowing/dwelling insects; but I do now!  Are cockroaches a no-go for the garden? 

Thanks, all.

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  Swilliams0416 on 11/22/2015, 4:33 pm

The American Cockroach is great at breaking down compost especially decaying wood. They usually stay outside and if they get indoors die quickly.

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/22/2015, 5:27 pm

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in915

I think they may be OK!  Depending on what type they are...

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  sanderson on 11/23/2015, 4:39 am

The large Oriental cockroach, palmetto bug, garden roach, what ever its name, is usually found in outdoor gardens with rich organic material, maybe wood like fences or raised boxes that gets wet and exposed to dirt. Gee, that describes SFG! [verses the American cockroach usually found in sewers and basements, or German cockroach usually found in apartments, homes and restaurants] The large garden roach eats decaying matter so they shouldn't affect your veggies.

I started finding a few last summer after a year of SFG (wood, compost and moisture) and this summer under some pots when I added Back to Eden for the rest of the flower beds. I bought Combat, Source Kill Max, for large roach, and set the bait stations around the two areas I have found them. We shall see.

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  lbmcse on 11/23/2015, 9:50 am

Thanks for the replies, everybody.  I've decided to go ahead and amend the compost and add it to the tilled 4x4.  If other insects are beneficial, I see no reason to vilify the cockroach.  After the cringe factor, I suppose they're just another creature that needs a place to live. 

I'll report back if there are any problems.  I'm guessing there won't be.  .  .

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How common is this?

Post  Kathy Gizzi on 2/14/2016, 4:28 am

Came across this thread and now I'm petrified!  I have a general disdain for bugs but, living in the South, especially cockroaches!  They can get huge here!  How common is it to find them in the garden on a regular basis?  This could really be a make it or break it thing for me!

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/14/2016, 8:25 am

I have never seen any where I am, but some have. I don't believe they are the house infesting types though.

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  sanderson on 2/14/2016, 3:19 pm

General information. Each Region will have a slightly different situation, predominant species, where each is likely to be found. Wet and warm Florida will be different than hot and dry Arizona.
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7467.html

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  yolos on 2/14/2016, 4:36 pm

@Kathy Gizzi wrote:Came across this thread and now I'm petrified!  I have a general disdain for bugs but, living in the South, especially cockroaches!  They can get huge here!  How common is it to find them in the garden on a regular basis?  This could really be a make it or break it thing for me!
Never saw a cockroach in my compost pile or the garden and I live in the south.

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Re: Cockroaches In Compost

Post  milt48 on 2/14/2016, 5:58 pm

Personally I would not worry about them in the compost, but I would be a bit concerned about them moving in my house especially if my SFG is close by.

Diatomaceous Earth does a number on them, and so does Neem oil.

There are lots of things that will eat a roach some good like toads and frogs, and some bad like mice or rats ugh!

Parasitic wasps will really go after them so a bit of dill and/cilantro will help bring them around.


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