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Old 01-06-2016, 07:56   #1
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Composting Head Bug Problems

We purchased "treated" or baked coir for use in the head and were living in bliss until we returned from a three week trip. We found what appeared to be sawdust located in reasonably explainable places. We thought that the coir had dried sufficiently to have the fan blow tiny bits of sawdust around.

We could not figure how every morning the lid had a thin layer on the outside. This I explained away as some kind of static attraction.

This morning we noticed something moving in the sink. Tiny (so tiny you cannot make out a shape) bugs were moving all around in the sink. Samples from other areas in the head would show that all this "sawdust" was in fact trillions of small bugs. Yuck! Let the cleaning begin but at this point they must be everywhere aboard.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

IP Man
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:14   #2
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

Clean thoroughly and monitor. As this may be first done of wood boring insects.


Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:16   #3
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

Fungus gnats?
How To Keep Insects Out of a Composting Toilet
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:18   #4
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pirate Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

That article is about single chamber composters. The boat variety are dual chambers: the fluids and the dessiccator section. Many of us mix some amount of diatomaceous earth in with the peat moss or whatever. This has been working for me for several years. The exact ratio is a load of peat and a couple of spoonfuls of DE. No insects for a long while. Knock wood.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:42   #5
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by IP Man View Post
We purchased "treated" or baked coir for use in the head and were living in bliss until we returned from a three week trip. We found what appeared to be sawdust located in reasonably explainable places. We thought that the coir had dried sufficiently to have the fan blow tiny bits of sawdust around.

We could not figure how every morning the lid had a thin layer on the outside. This I explained away as some kind of static attraction.

This morning we noticed something moving in the sink. Tiny (so tiny you cannot make out a shape) bugs were moving all around in the sink. Samples from other areas in the head would show that all this "sawdust" was in fact trillions of small bugs. Yuck! Let the cleaning begin but at this point they must be everywhere aboard.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

IP Man
We had this problem once, too. In fact, while I was reading your post I thought, "That's not sawdust..." But I see you discovered that. We just cleaned everything well and they never came back. I really think that sometimes we get coir that has sat for a long time and bugs find their way into it before it gets to us. They "wake up" when exposed to water and nutrients and get everywhere. But they're easy to clean up. Other than those critters, if you keep the screens on both the unit and the fan, you shouldn't have any other problems. 6 years fulltime use for us and we've only had the "sawdust bugs" once. I wouldn't let it worry you too much.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:03   #6
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

Termites!!!!!!
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:01   #7
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

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Originally Posted by Simply Sailing View Post
We had this problem once, too. In fact, while I was reading your post I thought, "That's not sawdust..." But I see you discovered that. We just cleaned everything well and they never came back. I really think that sometimes we get coir that has sat for a long time and bugs find their way into it before it gets to us. They "wake up" when exposed to water and nutrients and get everywhere. But they're easy to clean up. Other than those critters, if you keep the screens on both the unit and the fan, you shouldn't have any other problems. 6 years fulltime use for us and we've only had the "sawdust bugs" once. I wouldn't let it worry you too much.
Thanks Simply Sailing, it nice to know someone else has seen this one, well not nice for you but you know what I mean.

I have taken the Natures Head completely apart and I mean completely, they of course were every where and I mean everywhere We left it outside so as not to offer up anything they can get into.

I wiped down the entire head three or four times yesterday (paper towels and vinegar) and they were back this morning albeit in smaller numbers. They are trying to migrate outside of the head but I think I am winning that battle at least I hope I am. Not sure where the new hatches are coming from so I will keep at it.

We will not be using any bug bombs, too toxic for us.

Hopefully as it warms up that will not give them more a favorable environment in which to procreate.

Will post when all is back to normal.

Thanks for all the replies!

IP Man
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:06   #8
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Re: Composting Head Bug Problems

Diatomaceous earth works a treat
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