Fire ant control in compost piles: John Dromgoole
Fire ants in your compost pile? Most of us do. They keep moving in there because there’s good drainage, lots of food, some moisture, and an excellent place to live.
One drench you can make for fire ant control:
• Mix equal parts orange oil, compost tea, molasses
• Blend 4-6 oz. of that mixture to 1 gallon water
The molasses improves soil microbial activity.
I like to activate the pile first. I’ll take a piece of rebar and then open up the mound and aggravate the fire ants. When they all start coming out, and that’s when I treat it.
You can also dust them with Diatomaceous Earth after agitating the pile. It won’t help to apply it directly into the mound. Be sure to wear a mask when you use DE.
Beneficial nematodes help control fire ants, grubs and fleas. To be effective though, the soil needs to be moist to keep the nematodes alive. After a rain is a great time to introduce your live nematodes. Follow the container instructions on how often to water when things dry out.