Microkhan’s Sun Belt readers are likely all-too-familiar with the ravages of imported fire ants—especially if they’re in the business of providing us carnivorous Americans with our delicious, delicious burgers and tripe. Imported fire ants enjoy few victuals more than the flesh of a baby calf. As a result, the critters cost ranchers zillions every years.
The ants are thus a hot topic at this week’s TSCRA Convention, an annual pow-wow of Texan cattlemen. Those ranchers are being told that the solution is not more and better pesticides, but rather the humble phorid fly (pictured at right)—or, more precisely, a carefully bred species of phorid fly that will eat imported fire ants, and absolutely nothing else.
Here’s all you need to know about fire ants, phorid flies, and even armadillos, courtesty of the Brackenridge Field Laboratory. And while we’re on the topic of ants, you should spare a few moments for Carl Stephenson’s classic short story Leiningen versus the Ants. It’s the tale that made Microkhan want to become a writer in the first place.