Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» garden ready need better weather
by bigblue94 Today at 2:54 pm

» New England April 2017
by CAgirlinMA Today at 1:35 pm

» I Killed It!
by newbeone Today at 1:15 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Today at 12:10 pm

» Amaranth
by trolleydriver Today at 12:04 pm

» California's Drought
by countrynaturals Today at 11:52 am

» Please comment on the plant layout for 2017
by Jaffa55 Today at 11:51 am

» Hullo from SW Ohio
by MBroman Today at 11:32 am

» N & C Midwest: April 2017!
by MBroman Today at 11:22 am

» 2017: First full year of SFGing in ND
by Robbomb116 Today at 10:52 am

» Hello from SE Michigan
by Cindy G Today at 10:31 am

» Geezer's 17
by RC3291 Today at 10:03 am

» Senseless Banter...
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:41 am

» Ants.
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:37 am

» to solarize, or not...I'm torn
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:27 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2017?
by Kelejan Today at 1:12 am

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos Yesterday at 11:14 pm

» Old roots
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:10 pm

» Sub Irrigation Planter
by CitizenKate Yesterday at 8:24 pm

» Volunteer Lettuce?
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 5:29 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by newbeone Yesterday at 3:34 pm

» Worm Tube?
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:32 pm

» Jaffa's garden - year one
by RC3291 Yesterday at 3:16 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 8:54 am

» Pallet Wacking
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:13 am

» EWWWWW.........bugs and stuff...good or not so good?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:54 am

» April 2015: What to plant in No. California/Central Valley area
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/24/2017, 8:22 pm

» Mel's Mix shows it is worth its weight in gold
by sanderson 4/24/2017, 4:10 pm

» An excellent read for those with Diabetes
by RoOsTeR 4/24/2017, 2:33 pm

» cucumber beetles
by BeetlesPerSqFt 4/23/2017, 7:48 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Are ants in compost bad?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Are ants in compost bad?

Post  Bobalu on 9/6/2012, 9:16 pm

I've always had sugar ants in my compost bins, but tonight I found what looks like a huge fire ant colony that seems to have developed overnight. My bins are made from heavy duty hardware cloth with 1" square openings, and the colony stretches from a volley ball sized clump of clay at the base and goes about 3 foot up the side of the bin. There is now what looks like a wide swatch of dried coffee grounds up the side of my bin. I assume these particles are what once was the material I am composting. If these ants are eating my compost they have to go, but I wanted to check with more experienced composters first.

BTW -- I'm only assuming they are fire ants. I didn't offer my hand in friendship to them to make sure. But just the flurry of ants that swarmed out of the base mound when I stuck it with my pitch fork tells me they aren't common sugar ants.
avatar
Bobalu

Posts : 6
Join date : 2012-03-24
Location : Social Circle, GA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are ants in compost bad?

Post  camprn on 9/6/2012, 10:03 pm

My guess is that if you turn the pile and disrupt the colony they will either meet their demise or move on. Good luck!

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14101
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Are ants in compost bad?

Post  toledobend on 9/7/2012, 8:36 pm

If they are fire ants, death is the only solution. The nest is probably in the ground so I suggest you move the pile a few feet away (hopefully without getting stung) then using a suitable fire ant killer on the bed in the ground (you should be able to see it again in a few hours). Moving the pile keeps the ants from carrying the poison into your compost. I use Amdro. The trick with Amdro is to not use to much and don't put it directly on the pile, just sprinkle it around the outside of the pile. Amdro is a slightly toxic bait. Fire ants feed the queen by eating a little, carrying it (in their tummy) and regurgitating it. Another worker eats it and repeats the process until it finally gets to the queen where the accumulation in her body gets her. The bigger the mound, the more "in-betweeners" there are. If you use too much Amdro, it can kill the carriers before they reach the queen and the mound will just move. If done right, the mound may move once or more depending on size, but with the queen dead or dying, the mound will eventually die. If you catch a mound right when it starts, it's a lot easier to eradicate. If you don't kill them, they will create more queens and more colonies.
avatar
toledobend

Posts : 95
Join date : 2012-02-13
Location : West Central Louisiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are ants in compost bad?

Post  LittleGardener on 9/8/2012, 4:52 am

@toledobend wrote:If they are fire ants, death is the only solution.
The trick with Amdro is to not use to much and don't put it directly on the pile, just sprinkle it around the outside of the pile. Fire ants feed the queen by eating a little, carrying it (in their tummy) and regurgitating it. Another worker eats it and repeats the process until it finally gets to the queen where the accumulation in her body gets her. If done right, the mound may move once or more depending on size, but with the queen dead or dying, the mound will eventually die. If you catch a mound right when it starts, it's a lot easier to eradicate. If you don't kill them, they will create more queens and more colonies.
Wow! very helpful. - Now what's a "Fire-ant"? - Wikipedia informs there are over 280 Shocked species of those critters worldwide. Oh boy! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ant "Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head, & body with a darker abdomen. Worker ants are blackish to reddish, their size varies from 2-6 mm (0.12 in to 0.24 in)." - We have ants almost black, only 1 mm; what are those?
avatar
LittleGardener

Female Posts : 370
Join date : 2011-07-21
Location : PNWet 7 B

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Heat it up

Post  bwaynef on 9/8/2012, 9:08 am

While I doubt that ants will be doing anything to hurt your compost, I wouldn't want them in my compost bin. I would imagine that if you got your compost hot enough the ants would move on.

If you've got a good mix of greens and browns, make sure its evenly moist ...and if it still doesn't warm up, you can mix in some blood meal (or flour or rabbit pellet food, though I've tried neither of those).

If they're fire ants, I'd take whatever action is necessary to get rid of them (...but you would too if you knew what it looked like when 42 of them had bitten your 2 year old daughter)! Preferably, without having to add chemicals to my compost ...but I wouldn't let that keep me from killing them.
avatar
bwaynef

Posts : 128
Join date : 2012-03-18
Location : Clemson SC, zone 7b-8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are ants in compost bad?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum