Composting - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for barbmurp
Question by barbmurp
October 17, 2009
I recently began composting using a trash can on wheels. At this point the container has grass cuttings and fresh veggie scraps. When I turned the can on its side and rolled it, ants poured out of the drilled holes. Is there a way to control the ants? Will placing the can on bricks help?

Answer from NGA
October 17, 2009
Ants are nature's recyclers and they aren't really hurting the compost but I can understand that you aren't too fond of them taking up residence in your compost. If your compost heats up and cooks, the ants will leave. In order to make it cook, it needs some carbon material along with the green material you've already added. Shredded leaves, newspaper scraps, straw or virtually any dried plant material will help balance all the nitrogen material you have in your bin. You can also add a shovelful of soil to introduce some good microbes into the mix which will help it heat up and decompose faster. Once the decomposition process really begins and the material heats up sufficiently, the ants will leave. Setting your bin on bricks won't keep the ants out - they will just climb up the bricks and into the bin. However, if you set each of the bricks into a tray and keep some water in the tray, the ants won't be able to reach across the water and gain access to your compost bin. Best wishes with your compost!

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