Best way to dispose used pest tray oil?

This is a question I’ve always wondered and have come to the thought that there may not be an ideal way, but what is the best way?

Perhaps in the garden as long as it’s safe to do so i.e. no curious pets or wildlife are likely to get sick from it. However, if there are alive SHB eggs and larvae, they can wriggle down into the soil where they pupate into beetles. How likely is it that all SHB eggs and larvae will be dead at this point?

Is oil unsuitable for composts?

Is the best option straight into the rubbish bin (landfill), due to safety?

For particularly thick oil that is loaded with mould etc. and I notice quite a bit of SHB above the expired oil supply, I use my blow torch to kill the eggs/larvae before putting it in the rubbish in a green (biodegradable) compost bag.

For oil that isn’t too bad i.e., it’s quite runny with no sign of SHB, I often tip it in the garden and bury it with soil or garden chips.

I understand tipping oil down the sink is super troublesome for plumbing and should always be avoided.

I think there must be a better option out there and would love to hear what others do.

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I’m eagerly awaiting people’s advice on this one! I currently soak up oil with an old rag and throw it in the red bin (general waste, for those not local to us). If there were pests or diseases present I’d likely burn it. I have no idea if either of these disposal methods is ideal so am really looking forward to the responses here :slight_smile:

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If you get friendly with the local fish and chip shop (jar of honey perhaps?)- since they go through oil like there’s no tomorrow, I’m sure they’d be happy for one to dispose of a bottle of oil into their fat disposal drums.


I use any oil or fat from the kitchen and use it in a mash for the chooks during winter. Any added bugs would be a bonus


I don’t know if our method is the best or not, but we just wash the tray out over the mulch on the garden. bearing in mind that we are located in a bush setting on acreage, so it can be dispersed over a large area.



I use mine to control weeds anywhere in the garden or around the hives.


I tried using veg. Oil but thought it attracted other bugs and was worried mice might like the smell of it, somewhere I read about mineral oil, non scented, so I’m using that & it seems to kill SHB and anything else that ventures in the tray.
My husband makes compost and I know that a good compost pile will break down almost anything, including diesel, so I figured I’d compost my waste oil that way. If you tip your grass clippings on, the temperature it produces would kill any nasties and you get good compost to use too, happy days :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::+1:


Great tip! I didn’t know compost could break down diesel… surely oil then would be no problem with a killer compost heap :smile: thank you!

Mineral oils are different than diesel and breakdown much more slowly and at much higher temperatures (like 150°C) so they should not be put in the soil. Diesel also does not break down completely and isn’t something that should be intentionally disposed of in the soil.

I would hope no one would dump nasties like diesel into a compost pile on a regular basis @chau06, but if you check out The Permaculture Research Institutes section on “Compost Miracles” they quote Joe Jenkins and a section from his “Humanure Handbook” that explains micro organisms in the compost, degrade nasties including gasoline, jet fuel, oil, grease, wood preserves etc etc into benign molecules, so for our purposes….it’ll do for me :pray:

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On the topic of disposing of pest tray oil, does anyone strain the bugs out before reusing it. I think if I was going to use oil in a pest tray, that’s what I would do, or at least try. In the mean time I’ll keep using my solid floors, that have stood the test of time.


That article on compost miracles reports that these chemicals break down mostly with single digit percentages of “harmless organic molecules.” :face_with_monocle:

I’m not an organic chemist but apparently diesel does break down mostly within a couple months but there’s a chemical solvent decahydronaphthalene that apparently is left over and does not break down even in years.

I don’t want it in my compost that I’m going to put around my vegetable garden… I’d take my chances with the vegetable oil attracting rodents!

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I don’t want to direct this off topic but I’m so curious to know your most effective method for managing SHB, Jeff. Particularly since you live in such a humid climate where I imagine SHB thrive and you don’t use a removable pest tray. I find that the tray is often a lifesaver and I notice a huge difference in a colony’s ability to manage SHB if they have a tray (if used properly).

@chau06 Forgive my ignorance here, but the point I was trying to put out there, was the small amount of left over vegetable oil from the bee debris tray, I’m not aware that anyone even uses diesel in the tray anyway. I was trying to point out that healthy compost, will break down the debris tray oil.

That said, there is much to learn out micro organism and the way they are able to breakdown or at the very least, degrade toxic chemicals into benign organic molecules.

May your veggie patch flourish and your bees thrive :pray:


@Bianca Me too, I check my tray every week and find SHB. This humid dampness & rain is testing my nerves. I’m struggling with the opportunity to open up the hive (last inspection was 13th Dec). Looking forward to JeffH’s input :+1:

Hi Bianca, I see lots of hive beetles. More in some hives than others. I squash the ones I’m able to, but that’s just a few. The worker bees chase them until they find somewhere to hide, before they propolize them in. I don’t use anything to catch or poison them.

My #1 tip is to keep all of the brood frames at a high percentage of worker comb. That way the colony will be strong with workers (defenders) & light on with drones (non defenders). Let’s face it: If the information in the video “Nova, bee tales from the hive” is close to accurate, they say that a colony contains around a hundred drones. With that in mind, that will be easy for a colony to achieve with only small patches of drone comb within the brood box.

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I must have misunderstood - there certainly isn’t any problem with putting small amounts of vegetable oil in compost.

And, yes, you’re right that there are all sorts of microbes that can process toxic or supposedly inert chemicals that we are just beginning to discover and understand.

Any oil from kitchen I filter and reuse it a few times to get my money’s worth. After that, I use this stuff to turn it into an easily disposable puck that I just throw in my trash can.