Pesky Flies Even When Your Compost Is Doing Fine?


“Hi, I followed instructions from your site a few months back and now have a tub of compost. It doesn’t smell but has tiny black flies (the size of little dots) coming from it. Is this normal?

The flies remain in the bin and don’t cause much nuisance—except when I turn over the compost pile or mix in new material. They would fly about and I’m worried about annoying my neighbors. (My compost bin is placed at the corridor outside my apartment.)

I tried referring to your page about pests and smells, but my compost has a lovely earthy scent to it (no odours) and I haven’t added any unsuitable material. So I don’t understand why I’m still getting these flies… Please help!”


Here’s Our Response:

Hello, thanks for getting in touch! Not to worry, it’s perfectly normal to notice some small flies as material is actively breaking down (rotting) in your bin.

As long as the flies remain inside the bin and don’t cause a nuisance, it’s alright to leave them be. They form part of the micro-organisms that help break down your compost.

If the flies seem to be venturing out of your bin, you could cover the top of your compost pile with a layer of newspapers. This way, the flies will remain trapped inside the bin. Their life cycle is short, so they will become part of the compost pile in no time.

Moving forward, when you have new material to add to your bin, simply place them on top of the layer of newspapers. The newspapers will gradually break down and become part of your compost pile. That way, you won’t have to deal with the flies since they will remain buried in your bin and become part of the compost.

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