My little project part II...
The ant above is called the 'carpenter ant' and it is this I discovered living behind the fascia of the lintel of my outhouse.
I find this name rather contradictory as a 'carpenter' is 'a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects'. (from wikipedia), whereas these little fellows could help bring down a building with their cutting of tunnels and galleries.
I suppose it could be argued that they are building a home for themselves albeit to the detriment of the wood, though again they do only 'attack' wood that is damp and decaying, so the damage is already done.
When I disturbed them initially they dropped of the wooden fascia on to my arms - there were hundreds of them - can still feel them crawling as I type! Sadly I had to 'Dalek' them - I read somewhere that most ant colonies, if disturbed (think I've seen a few disturbed ants in my day) will not return to that location.
Did you know that most 'experts' reckon there are a million ants for each of us on the planet - I can believe this - as they are everywhere! Fortunately we have never had a problem inside any of our houses but we have heard some horror stories from people who have! Imagine if they were even half the size we are...we wouldn't stand a chance!
PS After they had gone I was able to remove the damaged part of the lintel.
Good item from Auntie Beep here