For the most part, vermin isn’t an issue with the Green Cone. Properly installed, with the lip of the upper cone just below ground level and covered with soil, the system effectively eliminates odor and also acts as a barrier to intrusion. It’s pretty much impossible to gnaw through the cone, as there’s nowhere to get a tooth hold.
In areas where there are rat infestations, they can get more aggressive, burrowing underground to chew through the basket itself. So there’s a sturdy wire mesh ‘rat basket’ that is totally pest proof that you can buy to solve the problem. If your area has an ongoing issue with rats, or you just want to be sure, it’s an easy effective insurance policy.
The Green Cone was invented in bear country, in Northern Ontario, and has been tested pretty extensively both there and in Vermont. Bears haven’t been a problem, for three reasons. The below ground digestion reduces smell, and once the process is fully working and the mold colony is well established the overall odor is minimal. With much of the cone and most of the weight underground, it’s extremely stable and can’t easily be knocked over. And its shape, lack of edges and slippery surface make it impossible to grab onto by the average bear.
Raccoons, dogs, and other animals
It was the raccoon that led to the addition of a latch in the Green Cone design – they’re smart and tricky and they were drawn by the bits of food that sometimes miss the cone. But they don’t have thumbs. There are still plenty of original cones in Ontario and the eastern US with bricks on the lids. And no problems reported with animals of any sort.
Flies may be one of the trickiest issues to deal with when using your Green Cone. They lay their larvae on the food waste before it goes into the cone, and then can breed there. There are a number of natural remedies that can be used, some of which work better on some species than others, and best results come from spraying the waste itself when it sits in the caddy on the counter instead of what’s in the cone.
If there is a high water table, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure that the cone works properly. Building a mound on a base of drainage rock and enclosing the soil in some way is an effective solution.