Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



I like to think I’m an easy-going, live-and-let-live person. Not crazy about some of the venomous “guests” that turn up from time to time, but, in general, I work on the principle that if I don’t hassle them, they will leave me in peace.

But I have just done murderous things to a couple of colonies of green ants (oecophylla sp) and, while I feel a little upset, I also feel a whole lot more comfortable!

When we first moved here, there were green ants around, but only one nest and that was in a lemon tree, ‘way up the back. Apart from the annual pruning, not much of a worry.Heck! I can pick a lemon or two without wearing a shirtful of ants. But this summer…there are greenies in droves. Or whatever the collective noun is. A little uncomfortable if I nudged them when watering gardens,but not a major problem.

Until the little beasties decided they’d like to colonise the vines along the front deck rail. The Man said they would have to go before they invaded the house. I said they don’t like to live in human houses. But their constant running up and down the handrail and along the deck rails was becoming something of a nuisance. A painful nuisance.

So…I brought the autumn clean-up forward by a few weeks (these vines die back and have to be cleared anyway) and managed not to get bitten despite having to continually brush off enthusiastic boarding parties and perform a constant tarantella.

No, I didn’t take photos! I’m easy-going, not stupid!

But I did find a website with some stunning images. Sorry, but they are a bit much for blogger, so go to:

Of course, I have not eradicated the ants; just forced them to move to another location. The back deck?


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. Amazing Dinahnow. Also the link is fabulous. I have never heard of green ants before. The best part – seeing thick forest growth and natural sites not yet plundered by human development.

    First green frog, now green ants. Go green Dinahmow!


  2. Ces…thankyou. I’ve been green for years! I’m a little surprised you have never encountered those bitey beasts! Maybe only in Phillipine jungles? Actually, they don’t hurt as much as other things and you can ” get your own back ” by eating them __ they are quite sweet!


  3. Maybe. I have seen gigantic red and black ants that also make leaf-cocoon-like colonies in trees but not green.


  4. dinahmow, you have my sympathy. i’ve tried to co-exist with gypsy moths and black ant colonies and i have lost every time. now i kill them. i don’t salivate with pleasure, i just bear down and spray around the house. otherwise, they are in my kitchen on my beloved morning apple.

    it’s so funny we are in different parts of the world, with different seasons–the magic of blogging!

    nice to know you, dinahmow!


  5. Red ants — they’re the ones I hate. They’d be a very nice colour combo with your green ones come to think of it — they’d “complement” each other nicely.


  6. kj…I don’t know what your spray is, but there are some which can have a decidedly nasty effect on humans.And anyway, most insects develop an immunity after a while.I used to have a very “Heath Robinson” arrangement when I was extracting honey!

    Andrea…red ants? Not those fierce biting ones? I’ve encountered some aggressive brutes here. Complementary colours be damned!And we have what your Indigenes call “no see ’ems” as well.


  7. I hate ANTS…I hate how they mindlessly follow their instincts in a Kamikaze fashion and sacrifice themselves for the good of the Colony…I cannot help but add this anthropomorphic slant on those nasty little buggers.

    I once read that the weight of all the Insects on the planet equals the weight of all of the Humans…that is sooo gross!

    They have been around longer than any other land dwellers and I have no doubt that they will be here after we are gone…but until that day I will eliminate every Colony that I find in my backyard.
    I would make a terrible buddhist.


  8. dang, ants that build a tree nest! nothing like that here on the west coast of the u.s.
    when you think about it, that’s a form of machine making (house=machine)
    kind of a rarefied distinction, but one that homocentric people tend not to see. but it’s true.
    those pictures at that link were INCREDIBLE. do you live near that? (geography failure? yes!)


  9. HE…yep! you’re a terrific human, but not such a good Buddhist!At least you’re appreciative of crows!

    FN…yes, indeed, fantastic pics at that site. Geographically, that stretch of the Daintree Rainforest is about 30 hours drive north of me.There are things in that jungle that have never been identified.But most folk just think: big crocodiles, big mangroves, big stinging trees.Some stories almost worth another post!


  10. they’re good a tidying up though, are ants. There was a squashed something revolting on my patio (last summer) and a line of ants worked through the night to remove it. There was n’er a sign in the morning. And the line of them went right down my drive and into my next door neighbours (at least 100 metres) – so I left them to it!


  11. Ziggi…fantastic cleaner-uppers! The little black ants recently decided thay’d move indoors.So far, they confine themselves to “burial details” of the odd dead fly or crumb and I can cope with that.But it is ABSOLUTELY VERBOTEN to open/cose pantry doors with sticky fingers.Sugar is kept in a screw top jar and I have become very pedantic about the cake box!


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