Ants in cover material

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Ants in cover material
Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, November 17, 2008 - 10:28 pm
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I typically rinse my toilet containers with soapy water and pour the water into the compost - often with Ecover soap. It does not hurt the compost in any way.

Author: Al Chase (Uncleal)
Monday, November 17, 2008 - 7:02 am
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. Oops, I just saw that it's usual practice to rinse the buckets with soapy water and put that on the pile. So that part of my question is answered.
. Still, I'd like to know if others have an effective way of getting rid of ants in their compost.
. To fill out the particulars a little more, my "garden" is actually a big planter box on legs. After a garden consultant noticed all the ants coming and going and told me they were trouble, I set the legs in pans filled with water, with the result that ants cannot enter the planter box "on foot." Then I offed the ants that were already in the planter box. So now if I don't introduce new ants to the planter box via the compost, I know I'll have an ant-free garden. Before I blocked the ants' access, I had lots of ants coming and going and at least ten times more aphids.

Author: Al Chase (Uncleal)
Monday, November 17, 2008 - 1:53 am
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. I've been composting humanure for about 7 months now. About one month ago I started using newly fallen mostly dried out tree leaves for cover material in my outdoor humanure bin. Last time I went to add humanure to the bin, the leaves were teeming with ants, some of which were carrying baby ants, so it appears that an ant colony has moved in.
. I don't want ants in my garden, which is where the finished compost will go, as I've been told that ants bring aphids and carry some plant diseases.
. I know that a weak solution of dish soap in water kills ants. If I thoroughly wet the cover material with soap solution, would that harm the organisms that do the composting? I use Ecover "Ecological Dishwashing Liquid" which the manufacturer says is highly biodegradable. Or perhaps there's a different and better way to deal with the ants?
. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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