Using fill dirt inhabited by an ant colony?

pumpkin2010(5)June 10, 2010

I've got an odd problem. I have a pile of fill dirt in the corner of my garden that I'd like to spread out. I've noticed in the last few weeks that the pile has become a huge ant colony of black ants.

I don't particularly mind them, but I also do not want the ant population in my yard to get any larger for fear of them invading the house. (Or me gardening and sinking a foot into an ant's nest - and then I would freak out.) So my main concern is: If I spread the dirt out across the garden, will I be encouraging multiple new colonies?

I accidentally found a bunch of ant eggs yesterday (in the garden). The nurseries were very near the surface and I immediately thought whether raking or tilling the top few inches would be helpful. Thoughts?

What I've Tried:

There is no main entrance to the colony that I can tell(because it's not a nice mounded ant hill) to pour boiling water in. I've tried sprinkling Spectracide ant barrier granules around a smaller nest, which didn't seem to do much other than keep the ants underground (they show up scrambling around when I spade the dirt a little bit.) I've also sprinkled coffee grounds and citrus peels around the smaller nest and it seems unaffected.

Finally, the smaller nest is actually in a flat area of the garden that I'd like to plant with something (perennials probably). I hesitate because I know the ground will swarm when I dig into that area, but are there any more serious implications of planting there?

Thanks in advance for any input/insights.

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

If I spread the dirt out across the garden, will I be encouraging multiple new colonies?

New colonies are started by the queen laying several eggs that become queens and then the new queens abandoning the nest, taking some males with them. They are rarely - if ever - started by disturbance.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 6:25PM
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There is no good reason to poison ants, no matter what the people that sell the poisons tell you. All you needed to do was spread that soil around and the ants would have relocated.
Ants in your house do not belong but the only reason they would go there would be to find a source of food or water. Make sure those are not available to the ants and they wil not come visit you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 9:19AM
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