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6 messages
23/11/2012 at 05:33
My compost bin had been left untouched for a while and when I finally went to sort it out found it was a mound of seething ants. Being a lady of a delicate constitution it freaked me out somewhat!!! I threw in lots of ant powder and slammed on the lid. A while later and with some trepidation I peeked in and all seemed quiet and still. My dilemma is what to do now. Is it still compost that I can spread on the garden, or will it have become an ant nest full of dead ants? In that case how do I dispose of it? Could someone help please.
23/11/2012 at 06:34

Oh dear Lilly - we'll have to toughen you up a bit   The ants probably adopted your compost bin because it was nice and dry in there and they thought they'd be undisturbed  Just turning the compost and damping it down a bit would probably have made them move out - but they're not doing any harm in there anyway.  They were probably keeping it aerated which helps the composting process.

Anyway, what to do for now?  Is the compost made - is it crumbly and lovely and ready to spread on your garden? If so, then mix it all about and use it as you'd intended to.

 If it's not yet composted, then mix it all about and continue adding composting materials as normal.  Turn it regularly and occasionally add a little of Bob Flowerdew's highly recommended recycled beer/cider .... or if that's not available recycled Chardonnay will do 

23/11/2012 at 13:08
Thanks for the advice Dove fromabove. I've just had a look at it and given it a good prod with the fork. I thought it would be a nest but appears to be quite hard packed half cooked compost. I've not been keeping it damp enough as you suggest, so will follow your advice and hopefully the ants won't come back.
29/05/2013 at 21:13

My bin gets colonised with Ants even when the compost is damp. I topped up my bin with a few sacks of shedded material 2 days ago; it's currently 60 degrees centigrade in the centre, and masses of Ants have appeared.  The thing that gets me is how so many can appear in such a short space of time - and where do they all come from!

 

29/05/2013 at 21:22
29/05/2013 at 23:41

I always hope ants use my daleks as nest sites or better still nurseries for the flying ant brigade, yes flying ants are a pain for a day or two a year, but the compost from them is amazing.. They make so much air go through the heap, get all sorts of fantastic bacteria and it breaks the heap down so much quicker, these guys should be encouraged. I make a point of never shifting the heap when they are busy with the swarm, every year they come back and I am rewarded with fantastic compost, super crumbley and better than anything you can buy.. Yes ants are bad in the house, but I would encourage them to the compost heap everytime, they provide air, and everyone knows that a well turned compost heap breaks down quicker, this is due to the air you are introducing. So if you have thousands of tiny tunnels through your heap, probably a lot more air introduced than using a fork, oh, and a lot less effort!

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