What is Looking At You From Your Compost Heap

We are often asked about insects in the compost pile.

For the most part the presence of insects in your compost is indicative of a healthy eco system.

There are broadly two types of insects that you'll find in your heap: predators who eat the browsers/shredders.

The following is a list of insects that you'll generally see in your compost heap. This is not an exhaustive list and I've only focussed on the common visible insects.
One can generally categorise these bugs into predators and shredders.



Frogs and Toads of various sorts.

This is a picture of the endangered Leopard Toad.

Various Types of Spiders

With all these insects running around the compost heap we'd expect to see spiders as well.


These shred and help decompose the compost material. They are mostly beneficial in the compost heap (but some, like the Rose Beatle larvae, become a garden menace in their adult form).

Red Mites

Rose Beatle Larvae

While doing a good job in your compost heap. As adults they’re a bit of a problem.

Black Soldier Fly and their Larvae

Sow Bugs and Pill Bugs

Spring Tails

Ear Wigs

Millipede (or our very own songololo)

Earth Worms (when the heap cools down) - in South Africa these are the naturally occurring African Night Crawler (not the Red Wigglers)

If you've seen any different insects in your compost pile please let us know.

Remember that these should be in balance. Too many of one type indicates that the heap is not healthy. The more diversity in the heap the healthier it is.

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