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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!