How to Deter Rats From the HOTBIN

How to Deter Rats From the HOTBIN

As rodents/vermin can be a problem in composting, HOTBIN has been designed and tested to ensure its attraction to all unwanted visitors (including mice and rats) is minimised and in 99.5% of cases no issues are reported. Issues with rats in the HOTBIN is very rare however, if you are concerned, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce the attraction of rodents and other pests.

How the HOTBIN Is Designed to Reduce the Attraction of Vermin

The HOTBIN is designed to minimise the attraction of rodents by restricting access to their basic needs of water, food and shelter.

  • Water Access: HOTBIN has the least control over where rats find a water source whether this be puddles or bird baths however they will not find a water source from the HOTBIN. As an aerobic composter plenty of paper and woodchip should be added into the HOTBIN to avoid excess amounts of leachate and the contents turning anaerobic (wet and smelly).
  • Food Access: Rats have a fantastic sense of smell however HOTBIN has been designed to minimise rodent exploration by being a sealed unit with an integrated bio filter located in the lid, The biofilter controls and neutralises and odours before they leave the HOTBIN. Please note that cooked food waste and raw meat should only be added when the HOTBIN’s internal temperature is over 40°c.
  • Shelter Access: The HOTBIN is too hot and “closed for business” to rats. As a completely sealed unit, the HOTBIN offers no easy access to curious rodents. Besides, with high temperatures (40°c-60°c) and moist rather than preferred dry internal conditions, HOTBIN offers little appeal to rodents. It is also worth considering that HOTBIN is manufactured from a material which offers no food value to rats.

Locate HOTBIN Somewhere With No Prior Rat Problem

When starting the HOTBIN, we recommend not siting the unit in the same space as any previous rodent issue and ensuring any affected previous bin/heap is removed 2-3 months before setting up your HOTBIN. This is to encourage the rodents/vermin to move on from this site. Rodents/vermin are very much creatures of habit and will keep going back to an area where they have a food source/shelter - the compost heap, by removing this food source/shelter there is nothing of interest to them and therefore they are more likely to find a new source somewhere else.

Locate your HOTBIN in a high traffic area on a hard, level surface. If you wish to raise the unit you need to create a barrier between the HOTBIN and the ground to avoid rodents nesting in any spaces under the base. Use a layer of bricks or patio slabs to ensure there is a solid layer underneath the HOTBIN to achieve this.

Further Rat Deterrent Guidance

  • Keep the front panel and lid closed firmly – Any odours will rise up through the HOTBIN like a chimney, however if there are gaps around the front hatch panel odours may escape. Always ensure that the front hatch is tightly closed and after emptying wipe around the edges of the opening and hatch to ensure no loose pieces of waste are left in the joints.
  • Cam straps - It is important you use the cam strap(s) provided to pull the door tightly closed before filling. You should not be able to see any gaps between the bin and the door panel.
  • Always clean up - Always ensure no food waste is left around the HOTBIN. If you are picnicking in the garden make sure there are no scraps left behind, this is a free takeaway and will attract inquisitive animals. If you are adding cooked food waste always ensure the HOTBIN is over 40°C.
  • Space / Clearance - Try to ensure the HOTBIN has a minimum clearance of 15-20cm around each side and is not pushed up against, walls, fences, gates, trees or bushes that are easy to climb. The surrounding area should be clean and tidy, not dumping ground for garden rubbish which can inadvertently create little nooks for vermin to hide and nest if you are not too careful.
  • Cooked food waste - If you have had problems with rats in the past do not add any cooked food waste, meat, fish, bones, for the first year. Always when adding cooked food waste try to stir it in and cover with other waste.
  • Creative Planting: Rats in particular do not like the smell of mint or lavender. Consider planting mint or lavender near the HOTBIN unit or making a herb spray to use in the area; just add mint leaves or lavender heads to hot water and once cool pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray it in places that have attracted rats. Re-sprays will be needed or alternatively use peppermint oil. In spring you might notice that rats stay away from your garden, if you have daffodils this could be the reason why. Lavender is also known to be an unappealing smell!

Is the HOTBIN Rat Proof?

To be completely honest nothing is rat proof! We continually work with our customers and advise on how to prevent the attraction of vermin and the cases are extremely rare. The advice above are recommendations to prevent rats, mice, foxes, squirrels from showing any interest in the HOTBIN.

The HOTBIN guarantee only covers material defects and not instances of animal damage - where we are able we can advise on repairs however we are unable to offer a refund or a replacement bin should a problem occur.

Remember - millions of UK homes compost without rat problems but as long as there are rats there will always be a risk no matter which composting system you choose.
Back to blog