Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ants in Your Worm Bin? Here's a Solution.

I can't recall where I read this solution to ants in a worm composting bin, but it works! 

Put water-filled coffee cans on each of the legs (if your bins have legs, such as this Can O'Worms). Ants can't cross the water. For ants roaming on the outside of the container, wipe them away with a glass cleaning spray. The white ant baits at the base contain boric acid, which the ants take back to their nest. In a couple of weeks, no more ants living with the worms! P.S. Make sure no weeds are touching the base of the bin, because they'll use that as their ant freeway! (Yes, this lesson was learned the hard way.)

6 comments:

  1. Good idea. Do you put anything in the water to prevent mosquito breeding?

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  2. That is too funny...I did just about the same thing this winter with my tomato seedlings.

    I had them on a table in a south facing window, with a heating mat to keep them warm. The ants found the rich soil and heat (in February) irresistible. Since I was using a wood table I couldn't put the legs straight in water, but instead put them in cups, then in tupperware containers filled with water.

    Homemade moats definitely do the trick!

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  3. Glass cleaner is my best buddy. Good point by Anonymous about mosquitos.

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  4. I have a question about my compost pile and was wondering if you can help, Fred. We put our compost piles in before we knew enough about them, and we put them in a location that only gets about an hour of sun a day. I was wondering if there are any tricks that we can use to help our piles get hot enough. Does the lack of sunlight make it really hurt the decomposition process? What about in the winter? (We live on Californias Central Coast, Sunset Zone 7).

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    1. The best location for a compost pile is a well-drained site sheltered from the wind and sun, and where it is most convenient to take organic materials. More info:
      http://ucanr.org/sites/scmg/files/29956.pdf

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  5. If you have a worm farm without legs or with legs a good way to keep the ants out is to place the hole bin on a few bricks inside a larger bin. We've made the first of those worm bin islands years ago and so far they have been a foolproof way against ants. As for mosquitoes we found that as long as the water is relatively clean and without nutrients there are very few mosquito's attracted to it. Those larvae that might show up in the water will get caught with a fine fish net and fed to our koi fish or the worms... All the best and happy worming :-)

    Stephan Kloppert

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