Fire ants in my worm bin!

by Robin
(south central Florida)

I live in south central Florida, I have a Rubbermaid tub bin, and my worms have been doing well for the last 2 years bedded in shredded newspaper.

I feed them once a week about 1/2 lb of chopped, layered scraps (banana peels, coffee grounds, veg peelings, etc.) that have been frozen and then thawed (this totally STOPPED my fruit fly problem) and I add the new feeding on new shredded paper and cover with a little more shredded paper.

In the past, they have cleaned it up nicely. My bin seems much wetter than what I see on all the postings, but my worms like to stay where it is the wettest.

2 weeks ago, I got an invasion of FIRE ANTS! I tried wetting the bin down, but it didn't get rid of them.

I've sprayed the outside of the bin with an organic insecticide, but they are still inside the bin.

How much and how often do I wet the bin to get entirely rid of the ants???

The worms aren't feeding well and are staying down deep, and I'm afraid it's because the ants are hurting them. (the ants have bitten me several times!)

Frustrated in Florida

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Jun 15, 2017
Getting Rid of ants in a Worm Bin!
by: Pauly

Hello Robin,

Sounds like a scouting ant finally found a nice home for the family :(

Since you already have them in the bedding, use some Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) in and on top of the bedding.

DE is extremely absorptive and will dehydrate any insect that comes into contact with DE.

It's also safe for your worms as long as the bedding remains moist (which there's no reason for it to ever become dry).

Ants are eating the kitchen scraps you're placing into the bin. They're also eating the worms when they can.

Pull out any large food scraps that you can. Keep as practical as possible.

Sprinkle DE throughout the bin and mix it all into the bedding. Use a tool so you don't get ants biting you.

Sprinkle a generous amount on top, then place a dry sheet of newspaper and sprinkle some more DE on top of that.

By now the ants home is destroyed and they're running around, like a chicken with it's head cut off, trying to put their home back together again.

After a couple of days, stir the bedding again. By now they're getting really upset because they just can't get the community to function and they're dying from the DE.

Sprinkle some more DE on top of the bedding and then on top of the sheet of newspaper.

Keep repeating this until they are all dead or gone.

You can also sprinkle some food grade DE around the bin to prevent any more from getting in and discovering a wonderful "Bed & Breakfast" suite.

I hope this helps. Here are some pages I've created to help you understand the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.

Take care Robin :)

Jun 16, 2017
DE for a pest free worm farm.
by: Dale Robinson

When DE gets wet it can not do any damage to insects. I have wasted a lot of DE by sprinkling it into the bin.

I get the best benefit from the DE when I put it around the outside of the bin where it is dry and by dusting it into the air in the bin. I get a can of "air in a can" and spray it into a container of DE while holding it over the bin.

Don't breath the dust.

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