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Ants in my composts ???

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Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/20/2012, 6:59 pm

Are ants in my compost bin a good thing ?? Found them in there as I was turning it.. Haven't hada chance to add the worms yet, as I've not gotten over to my bud's to pick them up..



Also, should my compost be actually black ?? Mine's more a dark brown... It's still smells the same and is still breaking down, so I was just curious...



Thanks in advance !!
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/21/2012, 12:12 am

The color of compost depends on the composition of it. I've seen composts that are black and others that are dark brown. Don't sweat it. Don't even think of the odor of it while it's composting. Again, that depends on the composition of it. You should've smelled my compost pile last November when I added 2 buckets of fish parts, and all of that manure. Whoah....that was enough to wake the dead.
If it still smells a few months afterwards, then you will have to address that issue.

If you see ants in the compost, it just means they are feeding on the scraps of food in there. During their search for food in the compost, they move stuff around so it's actually a good thing to have ants. Now if your compost is totally overrun by ants and there's a possibility they can get in the house, then you'll have to take care of that.
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  snibb on 3/21/2012, 9:45 am

Tuxdad...I dont think ants are a good thing at all. While listening to others that said they were actually beneficial one year and to leave them alone, I left them in the compost bin-bad mistake. Besides the fact that they'll bite you whenever you go out and turn the pile, the bigger issue is what they do to your plants. This particular year I would transfer some compost to my garden. After brushing the ants off of me I added the compost to the squares. As my new squash plants started to come up I went out there over the course of a few days-maybe a week- only to discover that they had completely eaten and destroyed it. They also ate my radishes. They didnt destroy them but they ate them enough to cause all these little dimples.

Ants in your compost means they are eating sweet things that dont belong there, namely baked things, sugary things, dairy, etc. If you put a bunch of fruit out there which is good for your compost you should remember to mix it all in to help with the possibility of ants being attracted to sugar. If your compost pile is attracting ants and its not because of fruit, I think your going to have a luke-warm experience making compost.

Though I have never heard or read about this, I did read a post by someone a few weeks ago on here that ants are associated with aphids. I'm hoping that whoever that was can visit us again and give us some more information. If that's true than you will certainly want to get rid of those ants.
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  curio on 3/21/2012, 9:49 am

Some ants actually "keep" aphids. Here is a link with information.
http://insects.about.com/od/coolandunusualinsects/f/antsandaphids.htm
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  snibb on 3/21/2012, 10:21 am

Curio..thanks a lot..great info..
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/21/2012, 4:41 pm

What should I do to get rid of them if they become a problem ? I have some diatamaceous(SP) earth for around the bin but what of the inside ??
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  snibb on 3/21/2012, 4:56 pm

Tux...there's some real smart people around here. If you look at another thread that has to do with ants you should check it out. The one thing I remember somebody saying is that they use cinamman and it works like a charm....go figure!...
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/21/2012, 5:07 pm

@snibb wrote: The one thing I remember somebody saying is that they use cinamman and it works like a charm....go figure!...

Some ants decided to make their home in the bed with my blackberries just the other day. After reading the post about cinnamon, I tried it. They are long gone! clap I went out today and found a different kind of ant, and am going to try it on them, too. ...just need to get some more cinnamon.

Lee Anne
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/21/2012, 5:34 pm

I'll be giving that a try this week.. Dollar store here I come !!Twisted Evil
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  walshevak on 3/21/2012, 5:41 pm

After getting bit a few times Sun while transplanting a Magnolia tree, I found the root ball full of ants. Today I spread a mix of borax, cinnamon, baking soda and coffee grounds around the trunk where ant holes have appeared. One of those should do something unless they are fire ants.

Kay

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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/22/2012, 6:14 pm

Odd ... Picked up some cinnamon today and went to add it to my compost bin for the ant, but had none in sight... Wonder what's the deal ?? I sprinkled a bit in there just to be safe...
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Ha-v-v on 3/23/2012, 7:23 am

I found orange oil works to take fire ants out, but ... I also found out the wormies dont like it. I will be trying the cinnamon as well for places I need worms.
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/23/2012, 9:39 am

[b]Picked up some cinnamon today and went to add it to my compost bin for the ant, but had none in sight... Wonder what's the deal ??[b]

I think they've been watching this thread and knew you were coming. darn funny I'm glad they are gone. I saw a slug crawling in mine today...it crawls no more.

Lee Anne
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/23/2012, 12:14 pm

Twisted Evil Is the cinnamon good for slugs as well or did you just "send it" Wink ??
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  LeeAnne12 on 3/23/2012, 9:22 pm

[b]did you just "send it" ??[b]

Sent it, of course. Very Happy
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  TN_GARDENER on 3/24/2012, 6:41 am

@Tuxdad wrote:What should I do to get rid of them if they become a problem ? I have some diatamaceous(SP) earth for around the bin but what of the inside ??

Turn/stir your pile more frequently. They'll grow tired of being messed with and move somewhere else.


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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  yolos on 3/24/2012, 9:53 am

I read somewhere (don't know where) that ants in the compost pile indicate that the pile is too dry. How wet is your pile. You may need to add some water.
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/24/2012, 10:46 am

I water and turn every one to two days.. So not sure what the deal is but haven't seen them in the past few days...
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Re: Ants in my composts ???

Post  Tuxdad on 3/24/2012, 2:45 pm

On a side note, it's raining pretty good here today, and I decided to add a couple dozen worms to the compost bin.. It was giving off a good bit of steam as I turned it.. I also wetted it down a bit more and added a little more manure to the center...
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