worm composting - Knowledgebase Question

moreno valley, Ca
Avatar for campamram
Question by campamram
August 1, 2009
where can i purchase good quality Eiseina Fetida worms for my compost and gardening soils in the moreno valley area, 92553? I have a fear of on-line ordering for live critters of such delicate structure for fear they may die in transit. can you help? plus, how do you keep ants out of one's compost pile? i don't like chemicals especially if i am going to use worms. sincerely, Bob Mirabella

Answer from NGA
August 1, 2009
You can contact the Riverside County Waste Management Dept., 14310 Frederick St., Moreno Valley, CA (951-486-3400). They sponsor backyard composting classes and can help you find local sources for red wigglers. You might also contact your local Master Gardeners (via the cooperative extension office) for local worm composters. I'm sure they will be happy to share some of their red wigglers.

For the most part, ants do not cause any serious problems in gardens. Exceptions to this are the species that bite or protect aphids. Ant hills in flowerbeds and lawn areas can become a nuisance, however, as can ants that come indoors when foraging for food, returning to outdoor nests. If you have ant colonies that you wish to control, there are several things you can do. A good least-toxic method is the use of boric acid baits. Boric acid baits can eliminate some ant colonies in about one week. The trick is to not kill the ants at the bait station, but to get the ants to carry the boric acid back to the nest, poisoning the members of the colony that never leave the nest. Most ants feed either on sugars or on protein, fats, or oils. To see which type you have, place small dabs of jelly and peanut butter (not mixed) where ants are seen and watch which food they are attracted to. If they are attracted to the jelly, you can make a boric acid bait by mixing one-half cup jelly, such as apple jelly, with 1 1/4 tsp boric acid powder. Punch several holes in the lid of the jar, then screw the lid on tightly and seal with tape. The holes should be large enough for the ants to pass through to reach the bait. Place the bait jar on its side where the ants will come in contact with it. If the ants are unable to gain footing on the jar lid, you might want to scratch the surface with sandpaper or a pebble. If the ants are attracted to peanut butter, use that for your bait rather than jelly. If you find many dead ants around the bait station, which ever bait you use, lower the amount of boric acid in the mixture. If you are still finding live ants after a week to 10 days, increase the amount of boric acid. Although boric acid is of very low toxicity, it is best to place bait jars where children and pets cannot reach them.

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