Encounters with ants are an everyday part of work as a Ranger, with most brushes of no consequence. Ants usually go about their business, and we go about ours!
Australian bull ants however, are worthy of extra caution. Myrmecia pyroformis, also known as inch ants, have one of the most painful, and often toxic, stings to humans. As well as biting, an aggravated bull ant will actually inject venom into the skin through a sting located near it’s abdomen.
Ranger Mick’s recent encounter with bull ants was a bit more ‘engaged’ than the usual, with the ants objecting to Mick cutting down a Honey locust tree (Honey locust is a woody weed in regional bushlands).
When Mick broke his saw with the blade jammed in the trunk, the ants swarmed out and took up defensive positions on the blade, preventing him from getting close.
Unable to retrieve the blade, Mick was busy trying to nut out a plan when he was assisted by a gust of wind, causing the tree to snap and finish the job perfectly!