ants in indoor worm bed #134626 - Ask Extension

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ants in indoor worm bed #134626

Asked June 16, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

I have ants in a small indoor wormbed , I have tried wetting & saturation to make the ants leave. They haven't. I Have 2 other beds that are ant free. Any other suggestions would be appreciated, on using pyrethrin, could I separate my infested bin place the pesticide on surface "outside" say of bin? If bin placed on say plastic sheeting or cardboard surface? Any assistance is appreciated, I was making other small bins and one got ants please &thank you. Debra

Ward County Texas

Expert Response

Hi Debra,

You may actually have too wet a worm bed, plus something tasty the ants want as well.

I would try drying the bed out - that is don't water the worms and limit food stuff for a few days.  In the meantime, move everything out of the area where the ants were found.  Clean and disinfect the area - this will help dissuade the ants.  Then you will need to pick up some ant gel bait (you can find this at almost any grocery store, big box, etc.)  You want a gel that has Boric Acid or disodium octoborate tetrahydrate try this first, if the ants don't go for the bait, then you may have to try something else.  

When you place the bait out, just put a drop (like a pin head) towards the top of your ant bin - if you see that they have ate that, you can put a few more drops out until the ants are gone.  

This school action plan should help explain what you can do if the above suggestion doesn't work.  Ants are tricky as it really depends on the species
 http://www.extension.org/pages/20993/school-ipm-action-plan-for-tramp-ants

Finally, are you feeding your worms the bird grit?  Sometimes sprinkling a little of the grit (I can't remember what it was called, my worm raising days were several years ago) into the worm castings can help change the balance and make in uncomfortable for the ants and gnats.  

Good luck
Janet Hurley Replied June 21, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT
Thank You Janet, I went to an organic website re: ants in worm bed, they had recommended yeast .. put yeast out around worms tub/container, worms eat yeast drink &yeast reacts ants explode. Also baking soda is poison to ants I found big red ant bed outside ;and I placed ring of baking soda around it before dark last eve. Results unknown at this time .. thank you very much. ! Debra
The Question Asker Replied June 21, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT

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