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Safe Composting Tips

Composting is not recommended in high-risk areas. In low-risk areas, the following recommendations can help prevent CRB breeding sites from establishing in your compost pile. View our heat map or contact us for current information on our high catch areas. Contact the CRB Response for site-specific recommendations.

Store in a Sealed Container

Sealed containers are a safe and relatively low-cost method for preventing CRB infestation. Whole or chipped green waste may be stored in durable sealed containers such as shipping

containers or barrels. Containers should be kept on-site to prevent reinfestation of material or escaped beetles.

Know where your material is coming from

If composting isn't an option for your location, be sure you're sourcing your material from a low-risk area. Most spread of CRB and other invasive species occur in the movement of material like mulch and compost. The current detections map on our home page shows where we're finding CRB. It's safest to source your material from a nearby location.

Hot Compost

Any method that reaches sustained temperatures of over 130 degrees F throughout the compost pile has been shown to be fatal to coconut rhinoceros beetles at all life stages. The Berkeley method is one example that doesn't require any chemicals or special tools. However, certain requirements are usually necessary to keep compost piles at a temperature higher than 130 degrees throughout the pile.​

  1. SIZE: Hot composting piles must typically be greater than five feet tall and five feet wide, as this size is large enough to retain heat.

  2. MOISTURE: Hot composting works most efficiently when the moisture content is between 40-60%. Compost with a moisture content that is too high will become anaerobic and cool down, and compost with a moisture content that is too low will not support enough microbes to stay hot.

  3. CARBON: NITROGEN RATIO: An optimal ratio of carbon (e.g. wood or dry leaves) to nitrogen (e.g. green leaves, food waste, or ammonium sulfate) of 30:1 will encourage microbial growth and breakdown of organic matter, a process that generates heat.

  4. PILE TURNING: Compost piles must be turned frequently (1-3 three times a week) to ensure that the entire pile sustains a temperature fatal to CRB.

Call us for more suggestions to ensure your compost pile is getting hot enough to kill CRB.


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