For those that are living in Cairns, weird and wonderful insects are an everyday part of life and Green ants are one of those insects that are in abundance.
Found in your common garden, in the streets, parks and the bush, the Green ant (also known as the Weaver ant) has thrived in Cairns and due to its numbers it can be considered by many as a pest.
Highly territorial, the Green ant is considerably aggressive and there have been many times where residents of Cairns have found themselves victims to a Green ants bite. Green ants also build their nests in trees, so it is always advisable to check a tree before pruning it. There is nothing worse than a Green ant nest falling on your head (this is from experience), yet with Green ants being considered a common pest in Cairns, they can also be a blessing in disguise.
Workers in a colony are constantly on the hunt for insects, so you will often find that they assist with keeping some other unwanted pests to smaller numbers. It’s the Green ants voracious appetite for anything small enough to feed the colony that can provide a natural insect controller in your gardens. Fruit trees that have Green ant nests are also known to produce higher quality fruits, plus, you can eat them.
Green ants are often consumed by humans, as they are high in protein and fatty acids. To taste one can be described as eating sweet and sour sauce and Green ants are quite popular as a delicacy in Asian regions such as Thailand.
So before you spray the Green ant or think about squashing one with your thumb, remember that although a bit of a pest, having a Green ant colony around your house does come with its benefits.