Ants in the...bed
(Grand Forks, B.C.)
One of the larger kinds of ants, a carpenter ant
I have a couple of raised beds made from the sides of waterbeds, which have deep sides. The waterbeds these came from broke down into 2x12 lumber, which makes for a really deep bed.
I have grown many crops in these beds, but last year, I noticed that the ants have taken over. I guess they like the nice soft composty soil too!
A few ants I don't mind, but these are destroying the lumber sides, by burrowing into them and using the tunnels for their nest. If this keeps up, I won't have any sides left. So, I had to find a solution. After all, it's not like I don't have a lot of other wood for them to chew on, why do they have to live in mine?
There are a couple of options in an organic garden; realistically and ethically, poisons are out. Even the fairly innocuous one of borax and sugar water is probably on the edge of not being completely acceptable.
So, a kettle of boiling water could be, it's got no chemicals at all, it works by singing their little tails, leaving no residue at all.
Another option is to use club soda. This has carbon dioxide in it, so it starves them of oxygen and kills them. I don't know if this would be an acceptable way, but at least carbon dioxide is a natural compound, found everywhere.
Got any other ideas?