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in Problem solving
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
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!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2vDVvSY6z8 check this out !
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!
Does it work with Pinot Grigio?
It even works with recycled cola .!!.
Any kind or urine added to a heap keeps it damp and adds nitrogen to speed the composting process.
Brummie Ben, thank you for that information.
Lilly3, it is probably better not to use ant powder as you will probably kill all the other little creatures that actually make the compost. If you can bear it, just follow brummie ben's advice.
I would only put chemicals into a bin if there is a wasp's nest there.
Well fidgetbones my Pinot is a bit passed it, but I'll go with the flow!
My dalek is quite hot at the moment and the ants are having a great time converting veg material to wholesome compost! The recycled Cotes du Rhone helps though.
Not sure what the cola or wine is for? Would flat tonic water do whatever is supposed to happen? And re the flying ants, isn't a dalek lid a bit of an impediment to their swarming?
Actually, the presence of ants means that your bin is a tad dry. You can go Brummie's way as above, or add a little urine and some green matter.
Non gardener - by recycled drinks they mean fluid that has passed through your body.
Thanks for the advise will carry on using compost
So glad I discovered your forum as have been contemplating over the ants in my compost bin - I have just moved into a house with a big nest at the bottom. I will now leave them alone to 'do their stuff' - so thanks for all your replies.
I had my daleks infested with ants for the first time recently and was a bit concerned.
After seeing this I'll stay inside and let them aerate the piles for me.
Oh and drink a beer or two so I can recycle it later.