Thank you, we are getting some much needed rain now. It might have been
drying out to much and I need to reduce the size down to 3x3x3 according to
what I just read from researching.
For anyone interested I found a great site on all composting questions while
I was waiting. Got to: www.compostinfo.com
p.s. I also learned I must wait another couple of years for my Buckeye to
They need to be 4 yrs old.
What did we do before the net??
You didn't say were you're located, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're
They often build nests in loose mulch, top soil, a compost pile is like a
giant suite for them. Turning over the compost pile will encourage them to
search for a nest elsewhere. Or place a fripinol based pesticide, such as
combat ant gel. It is a slow acting poison that is spread from ant to ant
and can easily kill the entire colony.
I'm in GA, not the fire-ants or carpenter I'm sure. Small blackish-red ones
might have been brown. I think my mom called them piss ants (sorry) when I
was little although they may be argentine.
Oh my I just read the link you sent. They must be the worse kind to have
anywhere must less a compost pile. I hope they don't get in my house!
Will this fripinol pesticide damage plants later you think when/if I can
use it? I would sure hate to lose it. It's my last pile for the summer.
I read boiling water might work but when I turned the pile they were
everywhere. I can see myself running back and forth with boiling water
through the house. A pretty site I don't think. It must be a very large
colony but I didn't stay long enough to count them. The whole inside of my
compost was moving. yuck. And I thought fire ants were the worse we had
If anyone else is having this problem I found this answer on
Make a solution of diazinon and drench the pile; this will get rid the ants
but not damage the usefulness of the compost. You could also apply a fire
ant bait such as Amdro around the base of the pile and let the ants
personally I am going to try both, just hope they don't take up residence
Google seems to suggest that piss ants is slang for sugar ants.
Out here in california, we often get Argentina ants, they invade the house
when it rains in the winter and their nests get flooded, and in midsummer.
Leave even a small piece of food on the counter or floor and you'll know
Different ants accept different pesticides/baits. Combat Ant Gel is a little
syringe of a sugar and pesticide gel.
You only need to put a few dabs down. If you're concerned, take an old
glazed tile, or maybe a soda can that has been cut in half, and squeeze out
a few dabs in it., put that in the shade near the compost pile. The scout
ants will find it soon enough.
If you can't find it at your local home depot, try this.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Another good pesticide is hydramethylnon
I'm not too big on the boiling water method, that requires me to navigate
from the kitchen to the yard with a large pot of scalding hot water...i'm
Then you have to ask yourself, does it really matter if they're happy in the
compost pile? Live and let live? If it's far enough away from the house, let
them be, they're doing a job that nature intended for them.
in the garden ants are one of a number of anthropods that do an useful tasks
for us. In the house they can be a nuisance (I find anyway) yet outside they
do us some favours we may never realise. I have slaters and millipedes in my
compost from time to time. I don't much like them however they are busy
doing something there so I leave them be. Eventually they move on when
whatever work they are doing is done. According to the info I have
anthropods shred organic material increasing the surface area for bacteria
and fungi to work (they act as organic can openers). Apparently they eat
bacteria with their food and then shit the bacteria out all over the place.
Bacteria can't move that far, anthropods do it for them. Their poo is also
high in nutrients (similar to worms) and they help the porosity of soils.
As a suggestion, do some research on what ants may be doing in the compost
before you kill them. If you find they are of some benefit you may leave
them or you still have the ability to kill them.
OK guys you have convinced me. I respect and love Mother Nature too.
I did not realize ants had similar poop as worms and I know they have a job
to do I guess, other than reproducing (which btw they are apparently quite
good at). So I will not put out chemicals. I don't like them using anyway,
but I will continue adding lime. Hopefully they will find a new resident
soon and it will be in the opposite direction of my house or the nearby
log/bush pile I left for the other critters to use. Birds and chipmunks are
nesting in it right now. :-)
Guess it is time to start another pile. That's fine. Most of spring planting
finished anyway and I have some aged stuff I can use as mulch. Thanks again
for the insight and happy gardening.
elaine, I do not know if ant poo is as good as worm poo. I spoke about
anthropods in general (of which ants are one variety) however if ants are
common to the rule then their poop will contain some nutrients as well as
spreading bacteria. When you turn your compost and eventually dig it out you
should do enough to disturb the ants nest (unless it is below ground level).
Try turning the compost and see what effect that has on the ants.
rest of thread snipped.
Thanks I will give the fertilizer a try too. We are due for more rain this
weekend so the timing for all this such be about right.
BTW Bill you have a beautiful website of your garden! I enjoyed it.
Thank you Elaine. The garden is a lot of work but, as the pictures
show, it is worth it. I'm putting in the Dahlias this week. I got
several new ones and I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom this summer.
All the above pesticide advice is useful. I have also used garden lime or
quick lime to get rid of maggots in the compost pile and I would conjecture
that this same lime may well get rid of the ants as well. I am not sure but
would be willing to give it a try. Please let me know what yoyu folks
think. Lime, by the way, is great for your compost and will not hurt the
resulting mix as a soil additive:)
Thank you Mr Nice Guy! Due to my acid soil pH I am already using lime in my
compost. I just started a couple weeks ago and saw them when I turned it,
but I did not realize it was such a big colony or what kind they were. Lime
doesn't seem to have affected them much. Maybe I need to add in some more?
Poison info for ants which only try to clean up our mess yet...
Go to your local drug store and purchase boric acid powder. Mix it 1
part Boric acid to 10 parts sugar. Place it on you pile about 1/4 cup of
the mix and cover with a rock. Same mix works with carpenter ants or
others in your home. Place 1/4 cup in a few containers in your
basement or under kitchen cabinets and it is good for years.
Best practice still may be to aerate your pile and not provide ant
My Dad gave me some boric acid clothes washing stuff but I forgot the
name. Perhaps it was 20 mule tide ? I have it about but have yet to
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
This article is posted under fair use rules in accordance with
My Dad gave me some boric acid clothes washing stuff but I forgot the
It's called "20 Mule Team Borax Powder". You can also use it in your yard to
control hookworms in your pets. It doesn't kill from what I heard, but makes
the soil unfavorable for them so they leave. I thought about using that the
other day maybe I will. If it doesn't kill the hookworms it shouldn't kill
the ants, just make them leave, right? And it should also be alright for the
plants later. What are your thoughts anybody?
elaine firstname.lastname@example.org says...
:) the soil unfavorable for them so they leave. I thought about using that the
:) other day maybe I will. If it doesn't kill the hookworms it shouldn't kill
:) the ants, just make them leave, right? And it should also be alright for the
:) plants later. What are your thoughts anybody?
It doesn't take a lot of borates in the soil to make it where plants
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