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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:53 am
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Location: Sulphur Springs,,TEXAS
javascript:emoticon(':cry:')

I am new to composting. I need some help!!!!! My compost pile is composting, but the fire ants have taken over. What am I to do?
My compost pile has become one huge angry fire ant hill and they swarm me when I turn the pile. These guys are not my friend and I would like to fry them.
I do not use pesticides or any type of chemicals.

Thanks for any help. :wink: :cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:19 pm
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Location: Dallas, TX
The more experienced folks may be able to give you more information, but from what I understand, if your pile is hot enough, it will kill/drive away the ants.

I've got ants in my pile & they seem to pretty much stay put, i.e., I dont' see them throughout the yard.

The ants are good for your pile, they are contributing to the composting process.


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 Post subject: Ants in the compost pile
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:02 pm 
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Location: Sulphur Springs,,TEXAS
Thank you AMG for your reply. It really is nice to talk to gardening folks.


When i get ready to use the compost and the ants are still there and I put the compost in my garden, will the ants make homes in my garden?


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 Post subject: compost ants
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:53 pm 
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Location: Weatherford,TX
Fire up your compost with molasses and if you need to, use the fire ant killer mixture on them. They can spread if you put them in your garden (after they bite most of your body). Other ants in piles are OK and do benefit but huge piles of fire ants are a major pain. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:55 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
I'm with KHWOZ. I would use fire ant solution (compost tea/orange oil/molasses) and kill off a large infestation. Thereafter, keeping your pile moist enough and turned with some frequencey should prove sufficient to make you pile less inviting to a large fire ant population.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 1:34 am 
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I get ants every year but I've never seen them right after I turn the pile. Turning the pile seems to ruin their home.

My ants are not fire ants but they sure swarm like fire ants.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:42 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
My apologies to the OP - I managed to overlook the fact that they are FIRE ants. I would definitely want them gone too!

I have a big pile of some kinda ants in the bottom of my pile. I only see them when I turn it. I'm going to be turning it again this weekend & sifting to get some good stuff for the front yard....I'll try to remember to post back about how that goes, LOL (i'm thrilled, because yesterday when I went to dump the kitchen stuff in the pile & dug a bit of a hole on top with the pitchfork, it was warm in there - FINALLY, LOL)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:53 am
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Location: Sulphur Springs,,TEXAS
Okay, today I went out this morning and bought some dry molasses and put on my pile and turned it over. Oh my goodness, there were a bejillion fire ants in there and a few of them got me before I could retreat. I did notice this afternoon that my pile was getting warm. I wish it would smoke like someone said theirs was doing. LOL!!!! If this doesn't help I will do the fire ant program.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:03 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Well, I got the pile mostly turned & didn't runinto any ants till I got to about the bottom 1/3. Which, of course, is the part I wanted to sift! I just stirred it around some and left it for a while, 30 minutes or so, I'd guess, and was able to sift off the top of what was left without really running into a bunch of ants.

Still....the pile really wasn't hot enough & next week after payday, I'm getting some molassas!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:57 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Interesting note (well, to me anyway, lol)

About 2 weeks ago, I made garlic pepper spray & used habaneros. I wondered about what the pulp would do to the compost & figured out the only way to find out was to try....I hadn't turned the pile in a while and I just dug a bit of a hole in the top and dumped the stuff in.

Turned the pile today and, while it wasn't all that warm, there was nary an ant to be seen......


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:07 pm
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Location: Argyle, Texas
I also have ants in my compost. Not sure if they're fire ants. Will they kill the earthworms? I was turning it today and the ants went crazy, and so I was plucking out the worms and putting them back over where I hadn't disturbed it. Do earthworms and ants co-habitate? (hope that's a word). Will heating up the pile make the worms leave too?
thanks,
Julie


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:44 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
I still had worms & roly poly bugs, just no ants. I have no idea why....


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 6:40 pm 
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I had fire ants in my heaps, in TX I guess it's just a fact of life. For those of you elsewhere who have never had to deal with these aberrations of nature, they are holy terrors when it comes to all other life forms, including worms. I applied some diatomaceous earth to my pile two weeks ago, a smaller amount last week, and will continue to apply until I see some results or until I run out of DE. So far the numbers seem to be tapering off. I'll let you know if I'm successful.


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