Does Compost Attract Rats? 10 Rat Proof Compost Bins to Use

Small rat looks over top of compost bin

While composting is amazing for the garden and the planet, it has the potential to attract unlikely critters. Rats are tough to have around because they can damage your home, destroy your compost bucket, carry diseases, or even come into contact with your pets or family or housemates. The last thing you want your compost to do is put your family or roommates at risk of rats because of making compost, but there are so many different types of compost bins to choose from. We’re here to help you make the right choice to keep rats out of your compost. Check out these effective rodent proof compost options, as well as some answers to your burning questions.

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Let’s get started with a basic question: are rats attracted to compost?

Does compost attract rats?

Small rat looking into compost pile

Rats are attracted to compost as a rich food source and as a place for shelter and warmth. Food scraps will attract rats to your pile for a meal. Brown organic matter like leaves and paper is great for rat nesting. As compost breaks down, it generates heat, making ideal shelter for rats. While composting indoors will effectively eliminate the chance of finding rats in compost, there is a great risk of attracting rats to your outdoor compost.

Top 10 rat proof compost bins for easy home composting

Now that we know that vulnerable compost is perfect for rats, it’s important to have a secure bin to protect your compost and yourself from these critters. Some compost methods are more complicated; some are much easier to use. Beginners who are interested in getting started should check out this helpful guide first. Here is a comprehensive guide to all the best rat proof compost systems to make home composting simple and safe.

1. Lomi Electric Countertop Composter

Lomi turning scraps into nutrient rich dirt on the countertop

Price:  $499

Capacity: 5 Gallons

This machine is the solution for anybody who hates waiting for weeks for compost in a traditional bin or pile. There are tons of kitchen composters out there, but Lomi is the only one that will turn your kitchen waste into nutrient-rich dirt in a matter of hours. Simply add your kitchen scraps and other compostable kitchen waste as you’re cooking and after every meal, press a button at the end of the day, and wake up in the morning to nutrient rich dirt ready for the garden and plants. It even comes in packaging that can be composted right inside the machine! Indoor composters are perfect for people who are really worried about rats getting into their compost.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Small and sleek; fits perfectly on the countertop
  • Simple to operate; just press a button
  • Faster than any other composting system
  • Holds a small amount of compost; if you have a large family, turning it on would be a very frequent activity
  • Sells out quickly
  • A little expensive


Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


2. Demeter Compost Bin

Person dumping compost in Demeter compost bin

Price:  $199.00

Capacity: 82 Dry Gallons

An exclusive product designed by the garden experts over at Garden Supply, the Demeter Compost Bin is a steel, cube-shaped compost receptacle that locks out pests while promoting decomposition of organic material. After some effort setting up the bin, you’ll love the low-profile design when you set it up in your backyard. Plus, with a secure latch door that opens at the bottom, you’ll be able to pull out your compost easily and lock it back up when you’re done. That way, rats won’t be able to dig into the bin.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • The access door locks, making it almost impossible for pests to enter
  • Lid can be removed entirely to mix and pull out compost
  • Low-profile and attractive
  • Galvanized steel
  • Assembly required, and you need to put it together perfectly to ensure it works well
  • Not a ton of air flow to speed up composting
  • Locks can be tricky to work
  • Open on the bottom so it’s in contact with the ground

3. Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter

Tumbling composter in use in the backyard

Price:  $129.99

Capacity: 37 Gallons

Want to speed up the composting process while keeping out rats? Pick up the Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter and get spinning! As you fill up the chamber with food waste, make sure you give it a good spin using the handles every other day. In as little as two weeks, you’ll have access to nutrient-rich fertilizer to add to your garden or your lawn. The best part about this composter is the two chambers. You can continuously process fertilizer in one filled chamber as you add food scraps to the other. This gives you an ongoing supply of fresh compost all year long. No more digging through banana peels and half-finished compost for the good stuff! Its secure design prevents rats and other rodents, as well.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Ergonomic design makes it easy to spin and allows amazing air flow
  • Made of recycled, UV-inhibited, and BPA-free plastic
  • Great for the city
  • The black plastic material can overheat the compost and kill the living bacteria; keep it out of direct light
  • Sliding doors are tricky to operate, especially in the winter
  • Takes a while to assemble; lots of different parts and pieces



4. Behrens Galvanized Steel Composter

Simple image of steel composter

Price:  $54.99

Capacity: 20 Gallons

This multipurpose steel composter is affordable and simple in its design. Made with lots of holes to promote air flow and a tight-fitting lid to keep rodents out, you’ll love making compost in this bin. It’s super lightweight, there’s no assembly required, and fireproof! It’s also super durable and made to last; it can also take a beating, which means you’ll be composting for decades to come. Plus, rats can’t chew through steel! Get rid of your rat problem with one simple can.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Designed specifically to be animal-proof
  • Made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable
  • 4 legs to keep away from animals and promotes air flow
  • Not very easy to mix or turn the compost, so it’s a slow breakdown period
  • Rusts if exposed to unrelenting elements
  • Holes on top allow rain into the system and can get the compost too wet

5. Subpod In-Garden Compost System

Subpod in use in a raised garden

Price:  $214

Capacity: 34 lbs of food scraps per week

If you’re looking for a super low maintenance compost solution that benefits your garden and keeps out pests, one of the best options on the market is definitely the Subpod In-Garden Compost System. Even if you’re thinking about starting a garden, ordering a Subpod would jumpstart your vegetable growing journey. The stationary, subterranean compost system is unique in its design and specifically designed to be easy to maintain. Rats can’t get into the buried compost, so you’re safe from a rat infestation, as well!

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Smell-proof
  • Very low maintenance (less than 5 minutes per week)
  • 2 year guarantee
  • You need a garden or outdoor space
  • Takes quite a bit of effort to dig out the space in the ground
  • You also need to buy 1,000-2,000 worms

6. EcoKing Recycled Plastic Compost Bin

Person dumping kitchen scraps into EcoKing composter

Price:  $159.95

Capacity: 110 Gallons

Perfectly suited for lots of organic scraps and other yard waste and a large compost output, the EcoKing Recycled Plastic Compost Bin is great to house a traditional compost pile while keeping unwanted rodents away. The most significant aspect of this bin is its massive size: you can process up to 110 gallons of compost in here!

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Very large, which means you don’t have to empty it often
  • Made from 100% recycled and UV-resistant plastic
  • Windproof latch keeps rats out
  • Easy assembly with no tools
  • Access good compost only from the top and bottom latch, which means it’s hard to turn
  • Slower compost process
  • Not suited for city composters, since you have to install it on soil or grass

7. Green Culture Compost Tumbler

Simple image of compost tumbler

Price:  $156.64

Capacity: 37 Gallons

Compost simply without attracting rats by using the Green Culture Compost Tumbler. Its round design allows you to mix your compost easily and its locking mechanism keeps out annoying pests. With some assembly required, you’ll be composting in no time with only two tools and a bit of patience! Add in all your food waste and grass clippings to make the best compost possible.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Drum made of 50% recycled materials
  • Easy assembly for one person with only a screwdriver and a crescent wrench
  • Large sliding access doors for easy dumping
  • Inside agitators easily break up and mix the materials inside
  • Only 1 latch, so heavy compost can put a lot of pressure on the mechanism
  • Small wheels make it hard to transport over grass and non-smooth surfaces
  • On the smaller size compared to other composters at similar price points

8. Soil Saver Compost Bin

Simple image of vermicompost bin

Price:  $139.00

Capacity: 94 Gallons

Vermicomposting is one of the most effective and sustainable methods of breaking down food waste and yard clippings. Using the hungry power of worms, you can break down your organic waste into super rich humus in 1-2 months. The Soil Saver has been making compost for happy gardeners for almost 30 years, which means this design has been on the market for longer than almost any other major composting system.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Made of thick, sturdy, recycled plastic
  • Sliding doors at bottom for accessing compost
  • 25-year warranty
  • Easy assembly with no tools
  • Large open top designed for easy input and mixing, but it can be awkward to fit and won’t always line up
  • Have to buy 1,000-2,000 worms to start composting

9. All Seasons Indoor Composter

Indoor composting bin

Price:  $63.25

Capacity: 5 Gallons

If you want to avoid the possibility of outdoor pests and rats in your compost pile altogether, keeping your compost indoors is your best bet. SCD Probiotics makes this easy by offering an All Seasons Indoor Composter. The Bokashi compost starter is a special formula designed to aid compost fermentation and create an amazing end product. Plus, its unique design creates a powerful liquid fertilizer, a type of compost tea, in addition to your final compost.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Unique strainer and spigot design drains moisture, eliminates odor, deters flies, and makes an amazing compost tea
  • Fits under the sink
  • Made from post-consumer or BPA-free plastic, depending on the color you choose
  • A sweet and sour smell of fermentation in the kitchen is common
  • More complex composting process than traditional methods
  • Lots of prep work (cutting organic waste into small pieces)

10. Geobin Expandable Compost Bin

Flexible and expandable compost bin

Price:  $38.99

Capacity: 216 Gallons

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy, and movable compost setup, look no further than the Geobin Expandable Compost Bin. Its unique design allows you to determine the shape and size of your bin, and its tall walls keep rats and other rodents out of the compost. It could not be easier to set up, and you simply have to add your compostable kitchen waste and kitchen scraps in to get started. To make sure your bin doesn’t attract rats, make sure you bury the smelliest scraps with soil or brown matter like dried leaves or paper. To proof your compost bin even further, try surrounding the compost heap with wire mesh.

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Lightweight & easy to set up
  • Easy to move
  • Low-maintenance
  • Not suitable for small families or city composters without yard waste
  • You have to add a few inches of material right after to keep it from blowing over
  • Open on the bottom so it’s in contact with the ground



10 tips on how to compost without attracting rats

Rat looking out from compost pile

Before you go, it’s important to understand that simply picking up a rat proof compost bin isn’t always enough. Here are the best 10 tips for keeping your compost piles safe from rats, plus how to compost in a way that won’t attract rodents in the first place.

  1. Avoid open-sided compost: It seems obvious, but making sure your compost bin isn’t open on the sides will make it that much more difficult for rats to make entry. Giving them easy access will doom your compost heap. Don’t leave small holes with enough space for rodents to enter.
  2. Address each of a rat’s needs: Sometimes you’ve got to think like a rat! Think about their three most important needs–habitat, food, and security–and make it so your compost bin isn’t attractive to any of their needs. Keep fresh straw, fish, fruit, vegetables, and wood chips out unless you bury them (Tip #7).
  3. Do NOT apply rat poison: Since your compost will likely go into your vegetable garden, or at the very least be added to the earth’s soil, adding toxic chemicals is a very bad idea. Opt for natural alternatives that will turn rats away (Tip #10)
  4. Keep your compost pile in a high-traffic area: Rats hate being detected and move about when they know the coast is clear. To keep rats away from your compost pile, put it close to your door or porch where you move in and out frequently; this will discourage them from going near your compost. Open spaces are a welcome sign for rodents and a bad sign for you.
  5. Draw in common predators: Outdoor cats, owls, and dogs love to hunt rats. Keep rats out of the compost pile by letting cats and dogs outside often and let them act as natural defense against these pests. You can also hang bird feeders in the same space to attract frightening predators.
  6. Consider traps, but take caution: If you add traps around your compost pile, make sure your pets won’t get snagged by them! Only use simple traps if you don’t have any dogs, or keep them away from your bin.
  7. Bury all food scraps with finished compost or soil: One of the most attractive parts of the compost bin to rats is food scraps and cooked food! Make your scraps difficult to detect by burying them with compost and/or soil every time you add more. For more tips to stop compost for smelling, check out this helpful guide!
  8. Avoid strong-smelling or cooked scraps: Unfortunately, the smellier your food scraps, the more attractive your compost will be to rats. Don’t add meat and dairy products in your compost. Definitely don’t add pet waste to your compost heaps, either!
  9. Keep rat’s favorites away: Nesting materials, nutrient-rich foods like nuts, berries, and eggs, and strong-smelling food (Tip #8) will all bring rats to your compost bin.
  10. Fill your garden with plants and herbs that rats hate: For a more natural approach that doesn’t force you to stop composting some foods, try planting things in your gardens that will repel rats: marigolds, daffodils, rosemary, lavender, and garlic are all great options to try.

Hopefully this blog was helpful for you! Check out Lomi and read what people are saying about this electric composter! Whether you’re figuring out what to compost in order to avoid rats or just trying to find a simpler composting method to work with your lifestyle, you’ll find so much more helpful information on our blog.

Written by: Jess Savage