Headless Zombie Fire ants

It the latest effort to rid America of the Fire ants, scientist are introducing a new weapon. Phroid flies that come from Brazil are being used in Texas to combat this important and costly pest. Fire ants are originally from that region so it stands to reason to bring a natural enemy in that may be more productive than many of our treatments have been.

“It’s a tool. They’re not going to completely wipe out the fire ant, but it’s a way to control their population,” said Scott Ludwig, an integrated pest management specialist with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service in Overton, in East Texas.

Fire ants do over a billion dollars in damage every year and cause health risks by their bites and stings. This new approach lets nature fight back. The flies dive bomb the ants and lay their eggs inside. The larvae grow; eat out the brain and eventually the head drops off and the ant dies. During the time the larvae is doing his brain ectomy, the ant wanders aimlessly like a ‘zombie’ with no direction.

Although no one is saying this will completely eradicate the Fire ant population it may have promise. Maybe the whole reason the ants got on that boat in the first place was to avoid the Phroid flies so it may be worth a shot.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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