grrr..compost is more ants than compost

Typically I would not care that my compost pile moves across the yard because it is more ants than compost; however, I need to shovel most of it up to put in the new bed so I can have it ready for fall plantings...grrrr
Ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh dear...
I had that problem once!
I imagine you don't want to use pesticides at this point?
You COULD drown them out, but that will really increase the weight of the shovel fulls!
You might also try a big bag of DE (Diatomacious earth) and mix it in well to dry them out and kill them.
Good luck! I know what a PITA that can be.
If they were fire ants and it were me, I'd carefully apply a ring of Amdro crystals around the compost heap......
--
K.

Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

There is no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You are correct about being wanting to be cautious with pesticides. I don't want the ants but would like to keep the worms.
I did read something last night that said when this happens it is because the N is too low, thus the pile not being hot enough.
I am wondering if some blood meal might heat the pile up? Not sure what effect it might have on the worms though, if any.
wrote:

http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&include=0&userid=katra
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had great success using grits. They are supposed to be liked by the ants and the workers bring the grits to feed the queen.
I'm not sure what effect grits will have upon the nitrogen content though. Fish emulsion and grits? Seaweed? I've heard folks in Texas state that seaweed is the best thing around as food for their jalapeno peppers.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
"Norma Briggs" wrote: You are correct about being wanting to be cautious with pesticides. I don't want the ants but would like to keep the worms.
I did read something last night that said when this happens it is because the N is too low, thus the pile not being hot enough.
I am wondering if some blood meal might heat the pile up? Not sure what effect it might have on the worms though, if any.
"Katra" wrote:

http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&include=0&userid=katra
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you heat the pile up, the worms will simply leave. ;-) My yard is _loaded_ with earthworms from front to back.
If you want to really heat up that pile, till in a bunch of dead leaves! People are always leaving bags of raked leaves by the side of the road. I've picked those up and left them in the bags too long and when I went to dump them out, they were SMOKING! Ready to combust...
Till in a bunch of leaves, then cover them over with a sheet of black plastic. You won't even need to wet the pile. You can get it (the plastic) in rolls at Wal-mart. That should drive the ants out if you can get the whole pile hot. Maybe lower the pile level by spreading it a bit when you till in the leaves.
Hope this helps???
DE would kill the worms as well as the ants. I'd not do that either then!
--
K.

Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

There is no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Great idea...esp. since I have a plethora of leaves 12 months a year thanks to my next door neighbors with 20 trees plus who don't believe in rakes. I know they raked their leaves up in 2001, but not once since then. In retrospect, I think they are the reason I started composting--desperation met+sheer volume.
wrote:

http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&include=0&userid=katra
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is nothing like leaf compost. I like to pile leaves over my bulb gardens in the winter to keep my bulbs warm and by spring, they are all mulched down on their own to nice, rich compost! :-)
--
K.

Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

There is no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If it's normal ants: your compost is too dry. Water it, often.
Henriette
--
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:14:48 GMT, "Norma Briggs"

One of the ladies at my favorite organic gardening nursery said that spinosad (sp?) was being tested as a treatment for fire ants. She knew I was interested in the product as a weapon in my eternal battle against <spit!> thrips. I don't know if they're talking about making a bait, or you would just spray it around or drench the mound with it, though.
Penelope
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Its actually a good thing. It means youy have a lot of biological activity in your compost. I had the same problem a while back I did not throw the Amdro into the pile because it's not approved for vegetables and ultimately thats where the compost is going. What i did was place it AROUND the perimeter and let the ants go to it. Turning the pile more and watering helps too. I notice this is a problem in the winter and my theory is they are keeping themselves warm.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree that the pile didn't have enough carbon (leaves) and was too dry. Here in North Texas we are fortunate to have an enormous organic gardening community and "guru". Howard Garrett is the "Dirt Doctor" and he has a fantastic website which has an area for "member forum" discussions on virtually every problem there is. We have no shortage of ants here and lots of fire ants. The research done by the "ground crew" members has shown that fire ants can't stand an area that has lots of biological activity in the soil...or HEALTHY soil. One very easy way to increase the level of biological activity to the soil ( or compost pile) is to add dried molasses. Fire ants hate it. Sprinkle it on their mounds and they split. That molasses in the compost pile along with proper moisture content will heat up a pile in a hurry. Also, it's a well known fact that "watering" your compost pile with urine will also improve the biological activity. It also give you the added psychological benefit of knowing that you can really piss off your ants. (hehe) I'm not in anyway affiliated with Howard's site other than being a Ground Crew member for many years. www.dirtdoctor.com In addition, you can listen to his radio program on the internet. It's well worth it and you'll get great information, a laugh or three, and keep up with what is happening with organics in the news, and call in on a toll free number and get your questions answered by him personally. I recommend it highly. Sunday mornings from 8:00 (am) - 12:00. cst This program has thousands of listeners and we all contribute and benefit. Thomas
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wow! Thanks...and my 11year old son said to tell you thanks for giving him an excuse to pee outside! It must be a little boy thing....
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not just little ones... I thought that was what the ant hills were for...
I'll take a stick and make a nice funnel shape in the hills before a rain. They keep moving north after that.
John!
Norma Briggs wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.