18 comments on “The tiny, scary, hazards of gardening.

  1. Nasty buggers. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to worry about one of these, but I remember a time as a kid I got bitten on the instep and my foot swelled so much it was like a big ball of flesh, no instep left at all. I Van’t remember which ant it me, jack jumper, inchman, either way it hours like hell. Thankfully the kids haven’t been bitten…
    I do love the way you write – boil up out the ground, perfect analogy. Have you tried petrol and burning them out?

    • Yep, tried everything. They have multiple entries so they just walk out somewhere else and come back later!

      That bite on your foot sounds awful! Amazing how something so small can do so much damage isn’t it?

      Yes ago we were holidaying at the beach with our dogs (before kids) and they walked through a mass of jumping jacks with their noses to the ground. The poor things both got stung multiple times on the face. Luckily they didn’t react badly to it, although they were both quite swollen and upset and stayed away from that spot for the rest of the time. As did we!

  2. I don’t think we have any Jumping Jacks but we do have a lot of the ordinary bull ants, and they are unpleasant too. Just as a matter of interest, how did you get your ring back? That guy looks as if he rather liked it.

    • I waited until he walked away and then used the stick again. 🙂 Now I’m afraid that he has the scent of unprotected finger and I’ll never be safe out there again!
      Bull Ants have a dreadful bite too, but they mostly walk on by you and only have a go if they feel threatened. I think these ones are just born grumpy.

      • Yeah, that’s what I thought [re the bull ants]. I’ve only ever been bitten once so I can live with those guys. I definitely wouldn’t be feeling neighbourly with those jumping jacks though.

    • Thank you, I was pleased that he stayed still long enough to get the picture. He did like my ring though and it looked like he was having a good taste of it. I’m scared now he knows what my hand tastes like he might be on the look-out for a second, bigger, helping. Eeek!

  3. I’ve never seen these evil little guys either, and I hope I never do. We have multitudes of tiny black ants which sting a bit if they get on your skin but don’t seriously bite. They come in handy as they have a nest near and path across the bottom of the G.O.’s shed door which opens from the ground up, so anyone including him, trying to unlock it to get in, gets an armful of ants. Mostly people have guard dogs. We have guard ants. If only you could marshall the Jumping Jacks into a useful force.

    • Guard ants. You’re right, it would be great if they used their powers for good instead of evil. I guess as far as they are concerned they ARE using them for good.

      Your shed ants sound very helpful. 🙂 Has the G.O. ever just said to himself “They are looking a bit feisty today, I can’t be bothered” and gone back inside instead of retiring to the Man Cave? 😉

      A friend used to have microscopic ants in her driveway, when you stood by the car waiting to go and having a last minute gossip (as you do), dozens would crawl up your legs and all start biting at the same time. They were the cause of many a hurried departure!
      Funny how something so small can still overpower us isn’t it. 😀

      • It appears your friend has the same ants as us, and yes, on occasion, the G.O. has said “I can’t be bothered, I’ll get X later”. Mostly he swears, and vows to move the door latch but never does because then the guard ants couldn’t do their job…
        Too true, it’s not the big things that bring undone, but the small ones you don’t see until too late, or they become overwhelming.

    • Scary indeed. 🙂 I have actually used one of the kids as a spotter before, getting them to keep an eye in the nest while I do some digging nearby so I get a heads up before the attack commences! 🙂

  4. Those mandibles look dangerous! One can well imagine their bites/stings would hurt. What about fire ants – do you have those pests?

    • Fire ants aren’t native to Australia but they have managed to make their way to the north of Australia and set up home thanks to some stowaways on shipping containers. 😦
      They aren’t down here in the south and I hope they never are!
      There are so many amazing creatures in the world aren’t there? (I just wish they didn’t like the taste of human 😉 )

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