Let’s start from first base. All the fauna that we find in the compost (with some exceptions) is important and even critical in its development. In this post we are going to comment on each of them and the function they perform in composting. Be prepared because there is a lot of diversity!
MICROORGANISMS. THE MOST ESSENTIAL IN THE FORMATION OF COMPOST
We could not continue this post without initially mentioning them. They are the source of any compost pile. These microorganisms break down the products that you dispose of in your pile and turn them into a food source for larger organisms. Here a great food chain is formed that is summarized as follows. The microorganisms (first level) break down the compost heap creating food for the second level ones, which in turn are a food source for the third level organisms (beetles, ants, centipedes, etc.).
THE MACRO-ORGANISMS IN OUR COMPOST PILE
These are the main insects and macro-organisms that we are going to find:
Springtails: Springtails are the typical insects that jump when we approach them. They are very small and have a wide variety of colors (from black to blue). How do these insects contribute to our compost pile ? C omiendo chewing fungi and decaying plants.
Beetles: the one that we are going to find the most of this type of insect is the ground beetle. The larvae feed on the immature decaying products, and the adults prey on other insects and mollusks such as slugs, snails, etc.
Shells and slugs: When the previous beetle decides not to eat more of these gastropods. They are vegetarians so they eat both fresh and decomposing plant debris. You will have to be careful when the compost has already formed because you can incorporate them into the garden and they will feed on the leaves and stems of your crop.
Earthworms: There is a contest for the limelight in your compost pile between microorganisms and earthworms. Among the macro-organisms, they are the most important and those that directly contribute to the decomposition of the battery. They feed on organic matter and when digesting it through their intestinal juices (hormones, enzymes and other juices) they excrete remains of compost with the final color. A typical earthworm produces its weight in waste per day, so the more earthworms you have (without reaching a point where you have a pile of worms directly 🙂) the faster decomposition you will have in your compost.
Flies: flies are annoying, yes, but they feed on any organic debris they find. In addition, they are a source of bacteria transport that also contribute to the decomposition process. What attracts him the most are organic fruit and food remains, so if the density of these insects is annoying you can bury those remains at the bottom of the pile. With respect to the fly larvae there will be no problem, because the temperature that is reached in composting is too much for them.
Mealybugs: they are great consumers of materials rich in fiber or woody materials. They eat pruning debris and decaying vegetation.
Spiders: Spiders? Yes. These arthropods take advantage of the source of organisms that compost generates to make a feast with them. They are large predators and the food source in the pile is large. They will maintain a control of insects so that they are not excessive.
Centipedes: They are also predators, so they perform the same function as spiders. They control the biotic density of the microenvironment.
Ants – These insects will prey on whatever remains in the compost pile. They feed on a wide variety of materials and organisms, including seeds, fungi, and some insects. Their excretions are a source of minerals, and in addition, some ants are carriers of fungi, which also contribute to the composting cycle.