FAQ about placing a worm compost bin outdoors

Question: “I am a Surrey resident. If I only use uncooked fruit and vegetable waste, do
I need to be concerned about attracting rats? Also, can this composter be placed outside all winter or is that too cold for the worms.”

“Personally I don’t worry about rats — thinking they are more interested in fresher foods like grains and nuts. The vegetable waste quickly becomes something only fit for a worm. One winter we did have a rat take up residence in a wooden bin, but I think he was there for warmth not food.

Here in Surrey BC, we usually keep our composters outside all winter. Luckily we rarely have a winter that is so cold that the whole compost bin freezes. The decomposing food generates a bit of heat, and the worms will move to the center helping keep each other warm. A full composter is best.

If it looks like we will be getting a hard freeze, I’ll likely move my smaller bin into the laundry room or garage. (If they do freeze solid they will die, but all is not lost as red wiggler cocoons can survive much colder temperatures and when it warms up, new worms will emerge — don’t throw out the frozen castings.)”

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