How To Rat Proof Your Compost Pile

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:29 pm

If you want to improve your garden with a composter, today there are many different models to choose from. However, not every model is suitable for everyone. Special rat-proof composters are particularly recommended, as rats, as well as other animals, like to dig in the compost and can destroy it. Here we present the 5 best rat-proof composters.

The most important in a nutshell

  • If you are looking for a rat-proof composter, you won’t find it easily because this category doesn’t exist. In most cases, a rat proof composter is a metal composter. Alternatively, you can also rat-proof your composter with a few tips and tricks.
  • Plastic thermal composters can also be considered rat-proof composters. The thick, double plastic walls are very difficult to penetrate.
  • A rat-proof composter is a good purchase if you have a lot of kitchen waste to compost or if there are landfills or a sewage treatment plant nearby. You can make the composter rat-proof yourself by taking a few simple measures.

Rat proof metal composter

How To Rat Proof Your Compost Pile

Metal composters are made of sturdy metal grids, which are connected to each other on the long sides. The wire or grids are made of steel sheet. To protect against corrosion, the steel is hot-dip galvanized. This ensures a useful life of several years. Provided that the wire is not too thin, such composters are relatively rat-proof. However, you must take care that rodents cannot enter the composter from below or above.

Quick or thermal composters made of plastic

Although plastic is softer than metal and can be gnawed by rats, closed containers made of plastic are also rat-proof composters. The walls are thick and sturdy. They are not easily destroyed. The weak point of quick composters and thermal composters are the ventilation openings. If they are too large, rats or mice can get in through them. It can help to make them smaller by using wire mesh.

Buying a rat-proof composter: Here’s what you should look for

How To Rat Proof Your Compost Pile

When buying a rat-proof composter are some points to consider. To help you find the right rat-proof composter, we have summarized the most important buying criteria for you here.


To prevent the composter from tipping over or being moved by the rats, it should have good stability. So when buying, make sure that the composter is attached to solid ground anchors and/or has a sturdy frame.

Floor grid

If you want a rat-proof composter, be sure to choose a model with a bottom grid or order one as an accessory. A sturdy metal bottom grid or bottom plate will prevent rats from digging their way into the composter from below.

Mesh size

A rat-proof metal composter should have meshes no larger than 12 mm maximum. Mice and even rats can squeeze through larger meshes. Once the rat’s head fits through, the rest of its body will make it as well.


Wood is unsuitable as a material for rat-proof composters. It can be gnawed through too easily. Metal, on the other hand, is ideal, provided it is thick enough. Plastic can also be used if it is thick enough. However, there is no one hundred percent certainty.


To make a closed composter rat-proof, the lid should have a latch and close tightly. For metal composters, be sure to order or build your own lid made of sturdy wire mesh or mesh panels.


There are no exact guidelines for how much a rat-proof composter should cost. However, the better the workmanship of the device, the more expensive it will be, of course. In principle, however, a model from about 60 euros is worthwhile. Compare different offers and decide on the variant that best suits your needs!


The rat-proof composter is available in different designs. So you can choose between a model with an open or closed bottom tray. There are also variants where the compost bin is surrounded by a plastic hood, which is designed to keep rats and other animals out. With this variant, however, care should be taken not to create gaps through which rats could gain access.

Frequently asked questions about rat-proof composters

What to do about rats in the composter?

If you notice the presence of rats, you must act immediately. For every rat you see, there are several that remain unseen. Set traps and check them regularly. If the infestation is severe, call a pest control professional.

What doesn’t belong in the compost?

Normally, rats are not interested in compost because it is not food. This changes when you throw food scraps, stale bread, cakes and the like into the composter. The smell of the food will attract the animals from far away.

How do you drive rats away from the composter?

By taking care of the composter. Rats like to be left undisturbed. If you turn the compost frequently, not only will composting go faster, but heat buildup will decrease. In the cold season, rats sometimes go into the compost pile for warmth

What is the difference between a rat-proof composter and a conventional composter?

The difference between a rat-proof composter and a conventional composter is the type of construction. A rat-proof composter has a solid cover that prevents rats from entering, while conventional composters do not have such a cover.

What are the advantages of a rat-proof composter?

A rat-proof composter has the great advantage that rats have no chance to enter the composter and eat food scraps or other organic materials. This prevents rats from feasting on the food scraps and spreading feces and pathogens.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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